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ABC News Breakfast -

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Live.

The ceasefire under threat in

Gaza with Israel launches air

strikes over a bomb attack that

killed ap Israeli soldier.

Total fire bans across

Victoria and SA with both

states bracing for a heatwave.

Will they or won't they,

pressure continues to mount on

the Rudd Government to launch a

second stimulus plan. And

Jelena Dokic bows out of the

Australian Open as Roger

Federer takes just 80 minutes

to score his spot in the

semifinals.

Good morning, it is

Wednesday, the 28th of January.

I am Joe O'Brien. I am

Virginia Trioli. The top story

on ABC News Breakfast - it is

only a week since Israel and

Hamas agree to put down their

weapons. But already that

ceasefire is under threat.

Israel has launched an air

strike on Gaza, hours after one

of its soldiers was killed in

an explosion near a border

crossing. The Israelis have

also reportedly sent tanks and

bulldozers across the border,

Palestinian sources say there

has been heavy fighting near

Khan Yunis where people have

fled their homes. Ben Knight

joins us on the phone. Takes

us through what happens. There

was an explosion near the

border of Gaza this afternoon

local time. The Israeli armay

say this is was a device that

was not a left over from the

battle, this is something that

was detonated deliberately

against one of its patrols by

Palestinians from inside Gaza.

What happened after that, after

one soldier died, and another

one was critically injured, was

that soldiers went inside the

Gaza fence for really the first

time since this ceasefire was

declared. One Palestinian man

was killed in that operation.

We understand that that

operation was to basically find

out what had happened. Now

after that we had senior

Israeli leaders, the Defence

Minister, the Foreign Minister

Tzipi Livni saying very, very

clearly that Israel was going

to respond and indeed it has.

There has been an air strike

which was targeting the city of

Khan Yunis. One person on a

motorbike, we are told, has

been injured. But as you have

also said there, are tanks and

bulldozers operating inside

Gaza, which is not

insignificant. The Israeli

Army is not even confirming it

is inside the strip, but there

are a number of of reports from

inside Gaza saying this is

going on. Whether this is a

threat to the ceasefire or not,

remains to be seen. - what

this most certainly is is a

message from Israel to Hamas

saying "do not toy with us, do

not think we will hesitate for

a moment going back inside Gaza

and picking up where we left

off". How many tanks do you

think might be inside Gaza? Impossible to tell and

certainly from the pictures

coming through it is not making

it any easier. Reports of

probably 10 and 20 tanks. Now, whether they will stay in

there, as I have said, it is

impossible to say. But Israel

did warn that its response was

going to be harsh, and certainly a ground operation of

20 tanks or even 10 tanks is

something that is going to have

a very significant impact on

Gaza, especially at the moment.

As people are still recovering

from the three weeks of war.

This of course all coincides

with the special Middle East

envoy George Mitchell's visit

to Egypt. It does. And he

will be in Jerusalem tomorrow.

He will be speaking with

Israeli leaders and Palestinian

leaders and going around the

region. Now he will have the instructions of Barack Obama in

his back pocket. Which is to

get working on this

straightaway. Well - he

couldn't have asked for a

better agenda than this one.

Clearly his job now is to not

only try and get a stop to this

renewal in fighting, but also

to try and get the two parties

to come up with some agreement

that will result in a permanent

ceasefire. Earlier today we heard the Egyptian Foreign

Minister saying that he was

even talking about a possible

permanent ceasefire by the

first week in February. As the

day unfolded that began to look

far less likely. But George

Mitchell, his job will be to

try to bring people together

and come up with some agreement

on the crossings on weapons

smuggling, possibly on the

kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilat

Shalit which will result in a

permanent ceasefire. Good to

talk to you. Thanks for the

report. In other news this

morning, SA and Victoria are

braced for a heatwave expected

to last for four days. There

are total fire bans across both

states, it has been extremely

dry and authorities are

concerned any blaze could flair

up into a major problem. Many

Melbournians have been seeking

relief overnight at the beach.

A third man has been charged

and will appear in court later

this morning over the 2001

gangland murder of convicted

drug dealer Terry Falconer. He

was on day release from a NSW

prison when he was abducted by

two men posing as police

officers, his dismembered body

was found 10 days later.

Northern Territory police say

it was highly inappropriate for

a Katherine officer to film and

then upload a video of a drunk Aboriginal man on to the

Internet. The man was being

taunted by the policeman to

sing and dance for the camera.

The vision has been

circulating for more than a

year, the Territory's deputy

Police Commissioner says the

officer is being disciplined

opposition Movement for over the incident. Zimbabwe's

Democratic Change has denied

reports that it's reached a

power sharing deal with

President Robert Mugabe. The

comments were made after a

regional summit of southern

South African nations in

Pretoria. In Zimbabwe itself

the country's cholera outbreak

is getting worse. The World

Health Organisation says more

than 100 people have died in

the last 24 hours alone.

Pacific leaders have told

Fiji's self appointed PM Frank

Bainimarama to unveil an

election time table or face

Pacific Islands Forum. being suspended from the

Commodore Bainimarama didn't

attend yesterday's meeting, the

forum declared he has until May

to nominate a polling date. He

has already broken several

election deadlines since his

2006 coup. Bou has given his

first - Barack Obama has given

his first formal interview to

an Arabic cable network north

Ben Knight - overknight. night - overknight.

English What I told him is

start by listening, because all

too often the United States

starts by dictating in the past

on some of these issues and we

don't always know all the

factors involved. So let's

listen. He will be speaking to

all the major parties involved.

And he will then report back to

me. From there we will

formulate a specific response.

Ultimately we cannot tell

either the Israelis or Palestinians what's best for

them. They are going to have

to make some decisions, but I

do believe the moment is ripe

for both sides to realise that

the path that they are on is

one that is not going to result

in prosperity and security for

their people. I have Muslim

members of my family. I have

lived in Mum countries - Muslim

countries. In the largest one,

Indonesia and what I want to

commun is the fact through all

my travels through the Muslim

world, what I have come to

understand regardless of your

faith, and America is a country

of Muslim, Jews, Christians,

non-believers, regardless of

your faith people all have

certain common hopes and common

dreams. And my job is to

communicate to the American

people that the Muslim world is

filled with extraordinary

people who simply want to live

their lives and see their

children live better lives. My

job to the Muslim world is to

communicate that the Americans

are not your enemy. The new US President Barack Obama speaking

there for the first time on an

Arab TV network. Now, a

heatwave that's gripped

Victoria and SA is forecast to

last until the weekend.

Temperatures are expected to

exceed 40 in both states today.

Victorian Premier John Brumby

called a crisis summit of emergency services to ensure

the state was prepared to cope

with the worst heatwave in 100

years. James Bennett joins us

from St Kilda beach in

Melbourne. It is not too hot

down there yet is it? No,

quite calm down here so far. A

few early morning runners and

rowers enjoying the early

morning. But it is probably

definitely got that feel there

will be a pretty warm one later

on. Just a warm breeze

starting to blow-out to the

ocean. And how - what's the prognosis for the next four

days in Melbourne? 41 today,

and then 40 for the three days

following that. So certainly a

pretty warm one expected. And

that's what's prompted the

emergency summit, which you

mentioned the Premier held

yesterday. And should see, I

guess, hopefully the city cope

OK in terms of the commuter

network, the water saving

arrangements which are in

place. Having enough

electricity to power the demand

for airconditioners, and most

of all keeping the city's

residents cool. There is also

some fears that the hospitals

have had over heat stroke and

particularly for elderly and young patients that might well

suffer in the coming few days. And there have been concerns

with the rail network in

Melbourne as well haven't

there? The rail network in

particular. A couple of weeks

ago when there were a few hot

days in succession there were

somewhere around 320 trains

cancelled and a large number of

those the rail operator did put

down to heat problems, saying

the expansion of the tracks

made them unusable and also

units which trains which didn't

have functioning airconditioning simply couldn't

be used in those sorts of temperatures. So connex does

have a number of buses on stand

by just at places around the

city which they are hoping not

to have to use but are telling

commuters to be prepared for

buses to replace trains in some

areas. And otherwise it is a

case of just hoping for the

best for the rail operator.

And what are authorities saying about the fire threat

today? Well the fire's particularly with the wind

which we mentioned earlier is a

major concern. Because of how

hot that wind and it comes on

top of obviously 10 years of

pretty dry conditions. So you

have got a very drought parched outback and bushland

and areas on suburban fringe.

Conditions for fires are pretty

ripe. It means will is

effectively a large amount of

fuel which can burn very

easily. So firefighters are extremely concerned basically

any spark would have the

potential to get going quickly

because of the wind and burn

through a lot of vegetation

because of how dry it is.

James Bennett at St Kilda

beach, thank you very much and

we will cross back to James

through the morning as it heats

up. Which it is going to very

quickly it would seem and stay

that way for the next few day,

it is interesting there have

been warnings for years now in

the major capital cities transport infrastructure has

been under pressure and needs

replacing and yet it is always

left to this point. How do you

replace a rail network that

buckles when it gets above 38

degrees. Gradually and when

the Auditor-General warns about

it in 1998. You can send emails to -

Now to the front pages of the

major newspapers around the

country. 'The Australian' is

reporting today that mining

industry bosses say the Rudd

Government's new industrial

relations laws have already

lead to the re-emergence of historically damaging turf wars between unions. The 'Financial

Review' says leaked details of the latest International

Monetary Fund forecasts point

to a likely recession in

Australia. PM Kevin Rudd will consult with state Premiers

over the next week to discuss

the growing economic crisis.

The 'Age' is reporting the

Federal Government's new

anti-racism program will

provide grants of up to

$150,000 for projects in areas

where racial intol rans is found The 'Herald Sun' leads

with the disappointing loss for

Jelena Dokic last night. The

paper also reports PM Rudd will

recruit young volunteers to

help the elderly, homeless and

the environmental. In exchange

they will receive discounts on

university debt the. 'Daily

Telegraph' also reports on the

end of the road for Jelena Dokic's Australian Open

campaign. The Adelaide

'Advertiser' says a price war

is driving international air

fares to significant lows.

Northern Territory news

pictures flood water over the

Victoria river bridge, which

has closed the main link

between the Northern Territory

and WA. Looks wet up there.

The 'Canberra Times' reports a

lack of staff at an ABC Learning centre in Garran meant

some children were turned away yesterday. The Rudd Government

has concealed official

surveillance footage of

Japanese whale slaughterer in

the Southern Ocean because the

images could cause damage to

according to the 'West international relations,

Australian' today. The 'Mercury' reports search teams

have combed the River Derwent

in Tasmania without success in

their seven for a 65-year-old

man who's yacht was found

drifting yesterday. The 'Sydney

Morning Herald' says the

Federal Government's $4 billion

fund to support the commercial property sector doesn't

consider the concerns of the

Reserve Bank and finally the

broadsheet also reports the sad

story of two actors from the hit movie 'Slumdog

Millionaire', two of the child

actors are reported to have

received little pay and have

continued living in the slums

of Mumbai. Have you seen 'Slumdog Millionaire' yet?

That is on my long, long, list

of movies to see. There is a

few of them. The top stories

on ABC News Breakfast - Israel

launchesance air strike and

sends tanks into Gaza after one

of its soldiers is killed in an

explosion near a border

crossing. Palestinian sources

say there have been heavy

fighting near Khan Yunis where

people have been forced to flee

homes. Total fire bans are in

place across Victoria and SA as

both states brace for a

heatwave that is expected to

last four days. Fire and

emergency crews say they are

preparing for the potentially

destructive combination of heat

and drought. The PM begins a

series of emergency meetings

with state Premiers today, as

the pressure for another

stimulus package mounts. A

leaked report from the

International Monetary Fund has

slashed world growth figures to

0.5%. Confirming fears of a

looming recession in Australia. Overnight the British

government announced it would

guarantee up to $4.8 billion

worth of lean s - loans for its

struggling car industry while

the German government unveiled

a $135 billion stimulus plan. But back home the Rudd

Government is yet to decide

whether it will announce a

second stimulus package, to

help breathe leaf into

Australia - life into

Australia's struggling economy.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard Let's listen to what Deputy

said last night on the '7:30

Report'. The government has

made it clear we are standing

ready during the course of 2009

international circumstances to respond again as

become clearer and certainly if

we see further signs of dert ration internationally we stand

ready to act. What's changed

so dramatically that the PM and

the Treasurer can no longer go

to Davos and indeed they must

be together? Obviously when we

are working out arrangements

for overseas travel we want to

make sure that we are in best position to deal with the

agenda of the government. The

PM determinedna it was best for

him - determined it was best

for him to be here in Australia dealing with economic

circumstances. And the

Treasurer will be with him in

that period. The rest of this

week and obviously we are into

the parliamentary week the week

beyond. We are going to get another stimulus package within

the next week or so? What you

can read into it is that the PM

believed it was important for

him to be here, and that I

would represent the nation in

Davos with my colleague Simon

Crean. Julia Gillard speaking

on the '7:30 Report' last night

and for more Ben Worsley joins

us from Canberra. That's what

the speculation is all about,

when and if we might get another stimulus package and

the PM also talking to the

Premiers about just what they

can do on a state by state

basis. Anna Bligh is the first

Premier to be summoned to the

principles office. She is in

town today to start off this

one-on-one round the country

jobs talk really. To put it

that way. To get a state by

state perspective, and I

suppose the timing isn't great

for her because all the reports

are that her State's budget is

going to follow some other

State budgets into deficit.

Largely on the back of dropping

minerals exports. So a

post-boom state represented by

Anna Bligh and others will be

following her to Canberra. But

as we heard there, as you

mentioned, all the speculation

is about when, where and what

will be the second stimulus

package. No longer if, but

where and when. Look, if you

were a betting person all the

ducks seem to be in a row and

all the arrows seem to be

pointing to perhaps next

Monday. That's speculation.

But it all makes sense. And

that's the day before

parliament resumes. Cabinet

will have met and can sign off

on it and it will give the

government a stage and

microphone and pulpit to sell that package in parliament all

that week. And perhaps put a

bit of pressure on the

opposition. "Do you support us

or not in this time of

financial crisis". But again

we will have to wait and see.

But the backdrop to this of

course is the latest round of

revised and increasingly gloomy

economic forecasts. Just for

something different the IMF has

mentioned in the bulletin downgraded its world growth

forecast to 5%. Let's track

the IMF's forecasts this year.

It would look like a patch

work I think at this point.

From April it was predicted at

3.8%. Then October 3%.

November 2.2%, and now, if

these leaks are correct, it is

due out officially by the end

of the week, to 0.5%. I think

it shows that pretty much

everyone, the experts to the

punter are flying blind in

these rather unprecedented

times. And interestingly the discussion of course spins on

just how exactly you stitch

together that stimulus package.

The role that tax cuts, may or

may not play and there have

been various government ministers, including Simon

Crean who was on the program

yesterday, talking about this

and allowing people to then

believe maybe tax cuts will

then be part of T what are you

hearing in Canberra? They are

certainly not ruling it out and

that usually speaks volumes.

The talk is that it will be a

combination of things. That

tax cuts, seems to be the most

likely. But there might also

be small business assistance. There has been pressure to give

some relief to the unemployed.

That hasn't been a politically

palatable thing in the past but

again these are unprecedented

times and if they want people

to spend then the unemployed,

so the theory goes, will spend.

But yeah, again if you had to

put a bet on it you would think

low income earner s, small

marginalised through the business and perhaps people

effects of this global slow

down. Good to talk to you, thanks so much.

Let's take a look at the

finance figures now, US stocked

gained for a third day and some

companies posted better than

estimated earning,

overshadowing declines in

consumer confidence and home prices.

In just a few minutes

Vanessa O'Hanlon will be here

with a look at the national

weather. And also ahead we

will have a review of some of

today's newspapers and this

morning we will be joined by

Cameron Stewart, associate

editor of 'The Australian'

newspaper. Now with sport

here is Paul Kennedy. Thanks

Joe. Gorge, Jelena Dokic was

knocked out of the Australian

Open last night by determined Russian Dinara Safina. The

Australian lost the first set

but rebounded to win the

second. Her brave tournament

came to an end 6-4 in the

third. In the next match on

centre court Roger Federer

issued his warning to other

contenders by breezing past

Juan Martin del Potro. Under

the weight of the nation's expectations Jelena Dokic

started a little shakely. The

ankle she sprained on Sunday

night didn't appear to be

troubling her. Dinara Safina

can be hot-headed but she

stayed calm to claim the

opening honours. The pair traded breaks of serve until

Dokic earned another. She then

squared the match but fell

behind in the third. Even with

the crowd against her Dinara

Safina ended Dokic's dream

return to tennis. I have no

regret s. I just would like to

keep it going. Sorry that I

had had to defeat today

Australian. She will play Vera

Zvonareva who beat Marion

Bartoli to progress to her

first grand slam semifinal.

Seven of the top eight mens

seeds are through to the

quarterfinals. The 8th is

Portsmouth port and he is no -

por por and he is no - Juan

Martin del Potro and he is no

slouch. Federer's return has

been referred to as magical but

here he was clean kal. Del

Potro certainly didn't do

himself any favours and the

Swiss was then heading for his

19th straight grand slam

semifinal. Andy Roddick played

against Novak Djokovic. The

linesmen were ducking for cover

as the serve dominated Djokovic

struck first in the

tie-breaker. It took 1 games before a break of serve and it

went to Andy Roddick who went

to a set all. Then Djokovic

started to suffer cramps. He persisted but it wasn't for

long. I tried my best but

sometimes you can't fight

against your own body. The

defending champion has become

the tourment's firtsz fourth

retiree in two days. Let's

hear from Dokic and Federer

now. One preparing for the

year ahead , the other a big

semifinal. I think it was a

good match. Physically I was

not in my best shape. But yeah

it was good. I played three

sets with a number three player

in the world. Everything's

positive. I had a great

tournament and it is a little

bit disappointing and I had

some chances even in that third

set. And couldn't hold my

serve. Had a lot of game points in each game but sometimes things go your way

and sometimes they don't. But

there is nothing to be

disappointed about. I was

able to play awesome tennis

against him when I beat him in

the semis here. Like tonight,

so surprised how easy it went

and how everything fell into

place at the right time for me.

So I mean, of course I am not

going to expect a result like

this like what I did today or

what happened two years ago

against him. I expect myself

to be in a real battle and that's what's going to happen.

The Socceroos have arrived in

Jakarta for an Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia

tonight. Only six of the 21

players in the squad have

represented Australia. Craig

Moore and Archie Thompson are

the most experienced at

international level. But they say they have enough experience

in big games like the Asian

Champions League to cope with

the pressure. Interesting game

coming up there. All the

A-League champs get their

chance to represent Australia

show their wears. And Pim

Verbeek is sounding really

confident. He has picked young

people and inexperienced

players but he is backing them

fully. It is an interesting

game because they should be

confident. Indonesia is 144th

in the world and the Socceroos

are something like 28th now.

So they should win. But it is

a B grade side. Although that

might work for them because it

is going to be tough conditions

in Jakarta and those young

players from the A-League will

be wanting to impress the coach

so they can get a start in

maybe in a couple of of weeks

time against Japan in the World

Cup qualifier. This Asian Cup

is not to be run till 2011 so

it is a long-term campaign.

But if they impress in the

short-term they might get a go

in the World Cup qualifiers.

Back on the tennis, Jelena

Dokic's achievements there were

pretty remarkable and I was

reading something this morning

which was saying she is the

only player to have gone to

three sets in a major

championship - what is that?

Five, three set games in a

grand slam tournament. The

first woman ever. Hi to read

that twice when I saw that

because it is - In the heat

that they had as well. Yeah

and it looked like that last

night. It just looked like she

was a little bit below. It is

hard to say physical condition

because she didn't seem too

tired but she made a lot of

unforced eerrors. She made 18

more unforced errors than her

opponent and sometimes when you

see them hit it into the net

time and time again you wonder

whether it is just starting to

- they are starting to fatigue

a bit but she fought out bravely. Jelena Dokic on the

other hand - Novak Djokovic on the other hand decided the

cramping and heat and all that

stuff was too much for him and

he has gone home early. Thanks

a lot Paul. ABC News Breakfast

can be watched live on the web

from anywhere in the world.

Visit -

Here is Vanessa O'Hanlon with

the this morning's weather and

a bit more information on that

heatwave in Victoria and

SA. Very hot krngs Adelaide's

already - conditions,

Adelaide's already 32 degrees

as they head for 44. Not so

bad in Melbourne at the moment.

It is 20.

On to the satellite and

ex-tropical cyclone Dominic is now sitting around there. It

is in thick cloud and creating

rain and storms over the

Pilbara and inland WA. And

over the tropics cloud and a

developing monsoon is also

causing showers and storms. The

low over WA will move thundery

showers to the south of the

state. Very hot dry

northerlies will affect the

south east and onshore winds on

the Queensland coast will cause showers.

I will see you in half an

hour.

The top story on ABC News

Breakfast - Israel has launched

an air strike on Gaza. Hours

after one of its soldiers was

killed in an explosion near a

border crossing. Palestinian

sources say there has been

heavy fighting near Khan Yunis,

where people have been forced

to flee their homes. A short

while ago I spoke to Middle

East correspondent Ben Knight

in Jerusalem. He says Israeli

tanks have entered the Gaza

Strip. There was an explosion

near the border of Gaza this

afternoon local time. The

Israeli Army is saying this was

a device that was not a left

over from the battle, this was

something that was detonated

deliberately against one of its

patrols by Palestinians from

inside Gaza. What happened

after that, after one soldier

died and another one was

critically injured, was that

soldiers went inside the Gaza

fence for really the first time

since this ceasefire was

declared. One Palestinian man

was killed in that operation.

We understand that that

operation was basically to find

out what had happened. Now after that we had senior

Israeli leaders, the Defence

Minister, the Foreign Minister

Tzipi Livni saying very, very

clearly that Israel was going

to respond and indeed it has.

There has been an air strike

which was targeting the city of

Khan Yunis, one person on a

motorbike, we are told, has

been injured. But as you have

also said, there are tanks and

bulldozers operating inside

Gaza. Which is not

insignificant. The Israeli

Army is not even confirm it is

is inside the strip but there

are a number of reports from

inside Gaza saying that this is

going on. Whether this is a

threat to the ceasefire or not,

remains to be seen. But what

this most certainly is, I

think, is a message from Israel

to Hamas saying "do not toy

with us, do not think that we

will hesitate for a moment from

coming back inside Gaza and

picking up exactly where we

left off'. About how many

tanks do you believe might be

across the border and inside

Gaza? Impossible to tell. And certainly from the pictures

that are coming through, it is

not making it any easier. But

reports of between 10 and 20

tanks. Now, whether they will

stay in there, as I have said,

it is impossible to say. But Israel did warn that its

response was going to be harsh,

and certainly a ground

operation of 20 tanks or even

10 tanks is something that is

going to have a very

significant impact on Gaza,

especially at the moment. As

people are still recovering

from the three weeks of war.

In other news this morning as

Vannessa told you a moment ago

both SA and Victoria are braced

for a heatwave that is expected

to last four days. Total fire

bans are in place across both

states, with crews braced for

the potentially destructive

combination of heat and

drought. Many Melbournians

have been seeking relief from

the overnight heat at the

beach. The PM will begin a

series of megsy meet -

emergency meetings with state

Premiers today as the pressure

mount s for another stimulus

package. Analysts believe

massive job cuts in the US and Europe and leaked report from the International Monetary Fund that slashed world growth

figures to 0.5%, they all point

to a looming recession in

Australia. A third man has

been charged and will appear in

court later this morning over

the 2001 gangland murder of

convicted drug leader Terry Falconer. He was on day

release from a NSW prison when

he was abducted by three men

posing as police officers. His

dismembered body was found 10

days later. The case was one

of 10 suspected murders

investigated by a special

strike force. Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for

Democratic Change

government has pledged $5

million to help the towns of

Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun after

BHP Billiton announced the

closure of its nickel mine. Workers at the Ravensthorpe

Mine have met management about

the closure. 1800 jobs will be

lost. Lana Taranto joins us

from the Perth news room. How

is the government going to help

people affected by the mine

shut down? Good morning.

Obviously the government

announced yesterday this $5

million assistance package

which is basically designed to

help the communities of

Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe cope

with the mass exodus of mine

workers due to the shut down of

the Ravensthorpe nickel mine.

The government did announce

that they were going to

guarantee for the next six

months to keep government

staffers in the area, including

police, teachers and health

workers. Basically the

premise of that is people why

encouraged to move to the town

on the basis of the mine's

success. The government also

did make an announcement they

were giving in principal

support tie coastal scenic drive between Hopetoun and

Bremer Bay. On the basis of something like the Great Ocean

Road in Victoria in order to encourage tourism in the town.

They have announced a couple of

measures to encourage people to

stay in the town. However it

is interesting it is only guaranteed government staffers

there for six months. Is that

what the $5 million will be

spent on, keeping staff there

and the road? Or is the money

going to be spent on something

else? The money is going to be

spent as far as I can tell on

keeping staff in the actual

area but also on helping the

shire which has got massive

maintenance costs in relation

to infrastructure like airport

and roads which were built specifically around the success

of the mine. So it will help.

But it is, as I mentioned, only

for six months, so there is

some concerns as to whether

what happens after six months.

What has been the reaction to

the plan in the communities

there? The actual shire has

cautiously welcomed the plan

saying it is great that there

is going to be a bit of help,

but their concerns of course

are is the money will be there

for six months and they are

hoping after six months they

ewill still get help because

there was a lot of people

encouraged to invest in the

town, buy properties in the

town, also people encouraged to

buy business on the basis this

mine will be successful and

also continuing for several

year, so the rug has really

been pulled out from underneath

the community there. The other reaction, was from the

Opposition Leader Eric Ripper

who through into Ravensthorpe

yesterday and had the meeting with the Chamber of Commerce

and Industry and the local

shire. They said the

government should have heard

alarm bells when BHP wrote down

the value of the mine in

November and they suggest a ministerial taskforce is the

only way to go to deal with the

situation and also co-ordinate

the government's response. Is

BHP going to be pumping any

money into the communities? It

is interesting. Hundreds of

workers met BHP yesterday to

discuss their future. And also

BHP met the Premier Colin

Barnett in Perth to have discussions about the situation

in Ravensthorpe. However, both

parties didn't reveal any

detail of what was discussed or

any potential assistance from

BHP. BHP, all they did say

yesterday was that they were

doing all they could. It is

interesting though that there

hasn't been much comment from

BHP on what they are going to do and what sort of assistance

they will provide, if any, to

the workers in the towns that

are affected. The Premier did

say yesterday though that BHP

did have a moral obligation,

given they encourage people to

move down to the areas, set up

businesses and also buy

properties and invest in

Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe. Lana Taranto in Perth, thanks

very much for that. Thank you.

In some news just in, we have

heard that the prize-winning

American writer John Updike has

died aged 76. He wrote more

than 50 books, including a

couples of course the

well-known rabbit series,

including "rabbit is rich" and

"rabbit at rest". He won many

awards and his publisher say s

he died of lung cancer. If I

have this right he also

recently wrote the "widows of

east wick". Which is a follow

up to the "witches of east

wick". That is the news that

John Updike has passed away.

The top stories this morning -

Israel launches an air strike

and sends tanks into Gaza after

one of its soldiers is killed

in an explosion near a border

crossing. Passan sources say -

Palestinian sources say there

has been heavy fighting near

Khan Yunis where people have

been forced to flee homes.

Total fire bans are in place

across Victoria and SA as both

brace for a heatwave expected

to last four days. Fire and emergency crews say they are preparing for the potentially destructive combination of heat and drought. The Premier - PM begins a series of emergency meetings today. A report from the International Monetary Fund has slashed world growth figures to 0.5%. Confirms

fears of a looming recession in Australia.

For a look at the national

papers today we are joined by

Cameron Stewart associate

editor of 'The Australian' newspaper. Good morning. Good

morning. You are starting with

a topic close to your heart.

Something you followed for some

time. It

time. It is an interesting

development. The

Attorney-General Robert McLen

land has been issued and he

would like to see police not

err on the side of caution when

arresting terror suspects. It

just shows how much the

atmospherics have changed. He

is saying on balance he would

prefer to see police move

swiftly and get in there and

try to get suspects early and

if there is going to be

mistakes he is happy to wear

that to an extent. And so it

is really a case that he is

worried that the whole fallout

from the Haneef affair has made police shy about being aggressive towards terrorism.

So it is just fascinating I

think to see how this debate

has changed so much. Because

in the media of course it has

changed so much. The media is

much more sceptical towards any

allegation of terrorism than it

once was. So he is basically

seeing to the - saying to the

police, you have our support

and stay tough and stay

focussed. It is quite an

interesting development. How

have you read his very doty and steadfast support for Mick

Keelty. Whenever asked in the wake of

wake of the Haneef case he has

always stood firmly behind Mick

Keelty. What do you take from

that? He was firmly behind

Keelty even before the Clark

report came out. He was

confident the AFP will be

exonerated to a reasonably

solid degree, and it was. And

really an Attorney-General has

to be very careful to give any

other signal other than complete confidence at least complete confidence at least in

public. So any doubts he had

he may have been kept in

private. I know his office was

a little more reserved than he

was. Just back to the comment

you are referring to today, you would hope the Federal Police

had learnt lessons from the

incidents that have happened in

relation to getting terror

suspects and interviewing them.

So that when they are involved So that when they are involved

in that process now it will be

followed to the -. Letter of

the law. Definitely. I think

it's a case the police will be

a little bit more sensible and

measured I think. And the

government saying "listen don't

be too sesible and measured.

We need to still worry about

this issue". Let's look at the

front page of the 'Age'. We

were talking about this

yesterday. The - if you simply

tot up the number of figures of

job losses announced around the

world in the last 24 hours it

is staggersing. This is 80,000

jobs lost in one day across

Europe and the United States.

It is funny, with the crisis at

the moment everyone focusing on

certain issues and aspects but there are some things that hit

you in the face. 80,000 jobs

in one day is absolutely

astonishing. And now we are

getting also fee

getting also fee ed outs from

various sector s, who is doing well and not. The 'Herald Sun'

has a linked story to this

where they are talking about

hamburgers and fast food,

basically selling like hot

cakes. Pardon the pun. In

hard times. It looks a bit

that way. Burgers best in hard

understand people's rationalal times. I still don't

with that kind of thing.

McDonalds is not actually that

cheap I think. Isn't it

cheaper just to go to the

supermarket and buy something.

Buy heaps of potatoes. That's

the argument in terms of why

Australia is so obese, is it is

- dreadful but it is cheaper

just to get a meal of

hamburgers for the kids than

buy the ingredients and cook

the meat and chicken. People

don't think so, they are going don't think so, they are going

to Makas, their sales have soar

ed. But strangely enough at

the other end Lint chocolate,

the Swiss company, the sales

are booming. The comfort

food. Exactly. It is comfort food. So chocolate and Burkers

are the go. -burger s are the

go. The treat you can afford.

You can't afford the new pair

of shoes but you can the little

win block of chocolate. The other

win that got my - one that got my attention was the terrific story about the Australian girl

who survived the Hudson river

plane crash. She has turned

tragedy into opportunity.

Let's say. Near tragedy into

opportunity and she is now

releasing a song thanking the

pilots. She initially

threatened to release a song

called "my life at the bottom

didn't have of the Hudson river". But that

didn't have quite the same ring

about it. So she has released

a song called "send nowhere

prayer". She was over in

America to try to start up a

singing career. To be fair to

her she was a singer to start

with. So in a way it was a

God-sent opportunity. She is

is an evangelical Christian.

So it is a God-sent

opportunity. And there you

are. She has managed to turn

that into an opportunity. A

nice photograph there as well,

everyone will remember that

image out of her on to the wing

crying out to the rescuer. You

can put yourself in that

position and imagine how you

would cope with it or not. It

is a very American dream to go

and get a recording contract as

a result of a plane crash. A whole new spin on

whole new spin on wind beneath

my wings. Anything else for

us? In the 'Daily Telegraph' a

story on Ivan Milat and how he

chopped off his little finger

and he was nauseous and he was

in pain and it took him five

minutes to chop it off with a

saw. I heard it was a plastic

knife. Something like that.

And then he wanted to send it

a to the High Court. I mean it's

a very gruesome story but you

don't often hear storeys in the

media about these high profile

criminals, the media doesn't

often report it. Martin Bryant

you have heard almost nothing

about for so many years, Julian

knight, not so much. A

deliberate shut down. Yes, it

is interesting. But it is a

bizarre situation. And

interesting to see how much he

has aged in there. Because as

you say we don't hear about it

for so long and when you do see

something like that it looks

like he has aged incredibly.

We hear Ivan Milat is now on a

hunger strike. Is that right?

In the wake of cutting his

finger off. A bit of attention

seeking here. The sub editors

enjoyed it. They said he enjoyed it. They said he was

giving the finger to the High

Court. A reminder now you can

watch all of ABC News Breakfast

streamed live every morning.

Go to your computer and the

address is -

Here is Paul Kennedy with

sport. Thanks Joe. Good

morning, Jelena Dokic was

beaten by Dinara Safina in a

quarterfinal last night to end

the Australians remarkable

comeback. She lost the first

set 4-6 and then typically

fought back to win the second

6-4 but the Russian was less

fatigued and one the third to

remain the favourite for the

title. Dokic is now back in

the top 100 and says she is

confident of continuing her

improvement in 2009. In the

other big game last night Roger

Federer was clinical in his

beats of Juan Martin del Potro.

The Swiss champion won 6-3, 6

love, 6 love to set up a match

with Andy Roddick. Roger

Federer said he was surprised

how easily he dominated last night but doesn't expect the

same against the A-rod in

today's semi-. The Socceroos

have arrived in jack art ta.

Craigmore and Archie Thompson

are the most experienced in

international level, but they

say the new players have enough

experience to cope with the

pressure. Novak Djokovic

retired yesterday because of

the heat and we have a doctor

coming on later to talk about

heat and sports people but

there is an interesting case in

the states at the moment where

a high school football coach

only yesterday was only yesterday was arraigned on

charge of heckless homicide for

a - reckless homicide for a

student who died during sprints

last August and doctors said it

was heat related and now his

coach is up on a charge of

reckless hock side. I will -

homicide. I will do more

background on that. I noticed

on the courts there yesterday

it got up to 50 degrees. There

was a shot. Surely when it

gets that hot they have just

got to say, "no more. We got to say, "no more. We will

come back tomorrow". They have

got a system where they come up

with a player comfort level.

It has got some sort of long

basically. The wet bulk and and laborious name. But

dry - wet bulb and dry bulb

temperature. There you go. If

it is extremely hot it is

extremely hot. But players

deal with it differently and we

the next will see how it comes out in

the next couple of days. Thanks

a lot Paul. Here is Vanessa O'Hanlon with a look at the

weather and that heatwave

across Victoria and SA. It is.

Unfortunately for SA a weak

cooler change is expected on

the weekend. But it may stay

in the high 30s next week. At

the moment it is 34 in

Adelaide. As we look at the satellite and we have

ex-tropical cyclone Dominic

which is still on the WA coast. It is

It is causing rain and storms

over the Pilbara and inland WA.

Over the tropics cloud in a

developing monsoon is also

causing showers and storms.

The low over WA will move

thundery showers to the south

of state which will affect the

south-east as well with those

northerlies coming through.

Hot and dry. Onshore wins on

showers the Queensland coast will cause

showers and well.

Thanks so much Vannessa. Still ahead on ABC News

Breakfast - we will be talking

to Rex Gardner, who is the

latest publisher to be sent packing by Fiji's military packing by Fiji's military

government. He is the third

publisher in the last year or

so. And he said that he

doesn't know exactly why he has

been thrown out of the country

but that's the way the Bainimarama government

separates these days - operates

these days and the Pacific

Islands Forum has declared the

Bainimarama government must

hold elections or now work out

where it will hold elections by

1 May. We will also be talking to

to sports expert about those temperatures at the Australian

Open. It has been getting up

around 50 degrees court side.

It doesn't matter how fit and

healthy you are, coping with

that will be a bit of an ask.

A bit of a criticism of those

who have bailed out because of

the heat but you can ups -

understand it. Stay with us on ABC News Breakfast.

The ceasefire under threat

in Gaza with Israel launching

air strikes over a bomb attack

that killed an Israeli soldier.

Total fire bans across

Victoria and SA with both

states bracing for a highs

waive. - heatwave. Will they

or won't they? Pressure continues on the Rudd Government to launch a second

stimulus plan. Jelena Dokic

bows out of the Australian Open

as Roger Federer takes just 80

minutes to secure his spot in the semis.

Good morning, it is Wednesday, the 28th of January.

I am Virginia Trioli. I am Joe

O'Brien. The top story O'Brien. The top story on ABC

News Breakfast this morning -

it is only a week since Israel

and Hamas agreed to put down

their weapons, but already that ceasefire is under threat.

Israel has launched an air

strike on Gaza hours after one

of its soldiers was killed in

an explosion near a bodier

crossing. The Israelis have

also reportedly sent tanks and

bulldozer as cross the borders.

They say there has been heavy They say there has been heavy

fighting near Khan Yunis where

people have fled their homes.

Ben Knight reports. There was

an explosion near the border of Gaza this afternoon local time.

The Israeli Army is saying this

was a device that was not a

left over from the battle. It

this is something that was detonated deliberately against

one of its patrols by

Palestinians from inside Gaza.

What happened after that, after

one soldier died and another

one was critically injured, was

that soldiers went inside the

Gaza fence for really the first

time since this ceasefire was

declared. One Palestinian man

was killed in that operation.

We understand that that

operation was to basically find

out what had happened. After

that we had senior Israeli

leaders, the Defence Minister,

the Foreign Minister Tzipi

Livni, saying very, very

clearly that Israel was going

to respond and indeed it has.

There has been an air strike

which was targeting the city of

Khan Yunis, one person on a

motorbike, we are told has been

injured. But as you have also

said, there are tanks and bulldozers operating inside

Gaza. Which is not

insignificant. Now the Israeli Army

Army is not even confirming it

is inside the strip but there

are a number of report s from

inside gas Gaza saying this is

going on. Whether this is a

threat to the ceasefire or not

remains to be seen. What this

most certainly is I think is a

message from Israel to Hamas

saying "do not toy with us. Do

not think that we will hesitate

for a moment from coming back

inside Gaza and picking up

exactly where we left off".

About how many tanks do you

believe might be across the

border and inside Gaza? Impossible to tell and certainly from the pictures

coming through it is not making

it any easier. But reports of

between 10 and 20 tanks. Now

whether they will stay in

there, as I have said, that's

impossible to say. But Israel

did warn that its response was did warn that its response was

going to be harsh and certainly

a ground operation of 20 tanks,

or even 10 tanks, is something

that is going to have a very

significant impact on Gaza, especially at the moment. As

people are still recovering

from the three weeks of war.

In other news in the morning,

both SA and Victoria are braced

for a heatwave that is expected

to last for four days. There

are total fire are total fire bans right

across SA and in all but one

district of Victoria. It has

been extremely dry and

authorities are concerned any

blaze could flair up into a

major problem. Many

Melbournians have been seeking

relief from the overnight heat

at the beach. A third man has

been charged and will appear in

court later this morning over

the 2001 gangland murder of

convicted drug dealer Terry Falconer. Falconer. Falconer was on day

release from a NSW prison when

he was abducted by three men

posing as police officers. His

dismembered body was found 10

days later. The case is one of

ten suspected murders being investigated by a special

strike force. Northern

Territory police say it was highly inappropriate for a

Katherine officer to film and

then upload a video of a drunk then upload a video of a drunk Aboriginal man on to the

Internet. The man was being

taunted by the policeman to

sing and dance for the camera.

The vision has been circulating

for more than a year. The

Territory's deputy Police

Commissioner says the officer

is being disciplined over the

incident. Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for

Democratic Change has denied

reports it has reached a power

sharing deal with President

Robert Mugabe. The comments

were made after a were made after a regional

summit of southern African

nations in Pretoria. In

Zimbabwe itself the country's

cholera outbreak is getting

worse, the World Health

Organisation says more than 100

people have died in the last 24

hours alone. Pacific leaders

have told Fiji a self appointed

PM Frank Bainimarama to unveil

an election timetable or face

being suspend ed from the Pacific Islands Forum.

Commodore Bainimarama didn't

attend yesterday's meeting.

The forum declared he has until

May to nominate a polling date.

He has already broken several election deadlines since his 2006 coup.

US President Barack Obama has

given his first formal

interview to an Arabic cable

network overnight. He told

Al-Arabiya he was sending the new US envoy to the Middle

East, former Senator George East, former Senator George

Mitchell, on an 8 day trip to

the region and he is charged

with the role of listening

knock dictates. - listening

not dictating. Etold him start

by listening, because all too

often the United States starts

by dictating in the past on

these issues and we don't

always know all the factors

involved. So let's listen. He

will be speaking to all major

parties involved and he will

then report back to me. From

there we will fomnate a

specific - formulate a specific

response. Ultimately we cannot

tell either the Israelis or the

Palestinians what is best for

them. They are going to have

to make some decisions. But I

do believe that the moment is

ripe for both sides to realise

that the path that they are on

is one