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(generated from captions) The 4.30 News with David Johnston. This program is LIVE captioned. Good afternoon. In this bulletin - The Federal Government hike in petrol excise. considers scrapping a controversial Barry Hall flies to Melbourne to play in the grand final. for his chance lives during a prison siege in Iraq. And British soldiers fight for their But first -

the Federal Government in the excise on petrol has scrapped a planned increase over record prices. following intense pressure the 0.6% increase Treasurer Peter Costello says of tougher fuel standards which was to cover the introduction

directly by the Budget. will now be financed at 38c per litre. The excise is currently capped the government should be doing more. Opposition Leader Kim Beazley says

The ACCC should be mandated again of independence to deal with the situation on the price of fuel. to put downward pressure

decision, For reaction to the government's Hello, Alan. Alan Evans from NRMA joins us now. by abandoning the planned increase? Isn't the government doing all it can

This morning when they woke up they

didn't realise they were going to

have an increase. The fact that the

government is not going to go ahead

realises the strong outcry from the

public. Most are paying nearly $100

for a tank of petrol. This would

have saved only three and a half cents.

cents. We have to do mo more and it

shows the reason to have the petrol

summit, government, oil refiners.

The other thing that worries me the

government is going to subsidise

oil companies to give us cleaner

fuel when they should be doing it

as a matter of course. I don't

most needy think the oil companies are the

most needy groups in the community

and who need a subsidy. What do you

think of them monitoring prices? We

have been suggesting that they need

to increase powers to ensure like

occasions in the last couple of

months not to make windfall games.

They increasinged the margin nearly

nearly three-fold. That came out of

our pockets. They make good profits

any way. To increase the profits

when we are paying much more for

fuel because of the global crisis

respect. is outrageous and showed a labgt of

to relieve price pressure? Is there anything more you want done prices out of the government's hands? Isn't this the issue of high petrol

I said for sometime this was a hot

issue. It is pretty outrageous the

price they are paying. When you are

paying $100 to fill your tank it is

a high price. I don't think it is

going to go away. I did say when

John Howard came back he will

appreciate what a largish ue it is

to the community at large. Not only to make

to make the country happy but the

economy. We are all going to feel

the pain in the months to come. Alan Evans, thanks for your time. has flown to Melbourne Sydney Swans captain Barry Hall

to face the AFL Tribunal tonight in the grand final. which will decide whether he can play with St Kilda's Matt Maguire Hall was reported for this incident preliminary final at the MCG. during Friday night's his hopes on Swans coach Paul Roos isn't pinning

the Tribunal's decision outcome. I said to the players. It's a bit like too consumed about it. I mean, they can't get either. I can't get too consumed about it There is people to do the jobs in those people to do them. and we have confidence West Coast's Travis Gaspar with the Tribunal has also booked an appointment charge on Crow, Ken McGregor. to contest his grade two striking 7 News reporter Mark Gibson. For more, we're joined by

Good afternoon, Mark. in under two hours. The Tribunal will sit to fight this charge? How is Hall likely

Good afternoon. The tip is that

Barry Hall will plead guilty but to

a lesser charge. If that happens,

the case would hinge on two key

points. He would argue that the

contact was negligent but not reckless and that it

reckless and that it happened in

play not behind the play. If he is

successful on one or both of those

points he would get the concession

of an early guilty plea. He would

escape with a reprimand and not a

suspension. If he loses, is he likely to appeal?

They are throwing everything out on

this. They flew him on a private

this. They flew him on a private

jet. If he loses, they tl have

until midday to lodge an appeal

which comes with a $5,000 fee. chances hinge on Hall? How much do the Swans' premiership

They can but you would have to say

he is an absolute key. He is their

captain, he is their spear head and

the leader on the

the leader on the field. They have

other goal kickers and the Swans

would have to rise to the challenge

playing yet. without him. We don't know if he is

his Brownlow Medal win won't sink in Ben Cousins says until after the grand final. polled 20 votes. The West Coast midfielder the first player in nearly 80 years He now has the chance to become

to win the best and fairest award to a premiership in the same season. and captain his side

who get all the attention, It is usually the players and friends took centre stage. but on the red carpet, partners was not interested in fashion, Hawthorn giant Peter Everitt

just saving his good mate Barry Hall. was on the other side of the country, Ben Cousins at a ceremony in Perth. waiting patiently to the West Coast Eagles EDDIE MCGUIRE: Good luck tonight and Ben Cousins, everybody. kicked off the show. International superstar Michael Buble one more moon dance # Can I just have

# With you, my love? # beautiful women in one room. I'm sorry, I've never seen so many I wanna be a footy player. led the votes early, St Kilda's Nick Dal Santo West Coast's Daniel Kerr, but by round 15 as a 500-to-one outsider, who started the night

were battling it out. and Cousins, pushed to the front... From there, the Eagles' skipper

B. Cousins, three votes. the League's best and fairest player. ..and was named as of the 2005 Brownlow Medal The winner

the West Coast Eagles. is Ben Cousins,

and team-mate Chris Judd Last year's Brownlow winner presented the medal. On a personal note, until after the weekend I hope it doesn't sink in and winning a premiership. because it's all about a grand final

British and Iraqi forces Tensions are running high between in southern city of Basra. Clashes broke out in the city streets after British troops stormed a jail,

freeing two undercover commandoes who had been arrested for allegedly shooting a police officer. Bedlam in Basra -

a British armoured vehicle burns and a mob runs riot.

The driver tries to manoeuvre out of trouble, without success. Protesters throw stones and petrol bombs. Occasionally, gunshots are heard. GUNFIRE Eventually, one soldier tries to escape. He is pelted with stones, but does not return fire, and disappears from view. He is followed by a crowd of Iraqis.

What happens next isn't clear, but British officials have confirmed that no British soldiers were killed. Some, though, were clearly hurt. Eventually, British troops move in, and the crowd is dispersed. Unconfirmed reports suggest 15 civilians were injured. The clashes took place outside a police station. The armoured vehicles were there

to secure the release of two British servicemen arrested for allegedly shooting dead an Iraqi police officer. Iraqi police released photographs of the two men they were holding, whose release was being negotiated. But tonight, there are several reports that British forces used tanks to break down the prison walls. The governor of Basra has called it an act of barbaric aggression.

The Ministry of Defence has refused to comment on reports by Iraqi officials that the men working undercover drove a civilian car for an Iraqi checkpoint. This Iraqi policemen says the British soldier opened fire, Iraqi police responded. This unrest is at a time when there are renewed calls for British forces to withdraw. Next in Seven's 4.30 News - Another hurricane threatens New Orleans.

And NASA launches plans for a manned moon mission.

This is the 4.30 News. Cricketer Glenn McGrath and his wife Jane are launching the McGrath Foundation in a bid to give breast cancer sufferers greater access

to nursing care. The foundation grew out of Jane's own battle with the disease. Its research has found that a lack of access to a breast care nurse can impact hugely on the physical and emotional wellbeing of a sufferer. It's definitely a vital part of sort of ongoing treatment of all parties involved.

Not only the women going through it, but the families and partners and what have you.

I still have questions eight years on. You never forget how overwhelming it is. The questions constantly keep coming and with a breast care nurse, you can either make an appointment with her or pick up the phone and immediately the stress is alleviated. North Korea says it won't dismantle its nuclear weapons program until the United States provides it with electricity.

The warning comes a day after the secretive communist country agreed to disarm in return for economic aid and security. APPLAUSE After two years of talks and standoffs, negotiators working to defuse North Korea's nuclear crisis finally had something to celebrate. North Korea had agreed, at least in principle, to abandon it's nuclear weapons in exchange for economic aid and diplomatic recognition.

But at the White House today, President Bush cautioned it's not yet a done deal. That's a wonderful step forward, but now we've got to verify but now we've got to verify whether or not that happens. The devil will be in the details and many of the most fundamental issues were rather papered over in this agreement and are still yet to be resolved. One of the biggest stumbling blocks - the future of North Korea's nuclear energy program.

North Korea is in desperate need of new energy supplies

and in a major concession, the Bush Administration agreed North Korea has the right to pursue peaceful nuclear energy. But administration officials still fear North Korea could use spent nuclear fuel to produce nuclear weapons. In fact, US intelligence estimates that over the past 10 years, North Korea has secretly produced as many as eight nuclear weapons. Administration officials say any new agreement

and verification. will demand rigorous inspections and verification. I don't think trust enters into the bargain here I don't think the North Koreans trust us, nor do we trust, or should we trust, the North Koreans.

Talks to work out the details resume in November. Administration officials admit they won't be easy, and warn they could still go either way. The mayor of New Orleans has ordered a second evacuation of the city with another hurricane on the way.

Tropical Storm Rita is gathering strength and residents who have just returned home

have been ordered to gather their possessions and leave.

I'd rather err on the side of conservatism so that we make sure that we have everybody out. Mayor Ray Nagin says if Rita hits New Orleans,

the city's pumping stations will simply not be able to handle the rush of water. We are suspending all re-entry into the city of New Orleans

as of this moment. At the White House, the President was even more blunt, laying out a worst-case scenario. If it were to rain a lot, there is concern from the Army Corps of Engineers

that the levees might break. But in the Algiers neighbourhood where residents had already started to come back today... It's good to be home. ..there were visible signs that even without a new storm, the city is unprepared for people.

These are the rules and regulations. New Orleans cops were handing out leaflets to anyone coming in of the dangers ahead - gas leaks, downed powerlines, mould, bacteria and toxins.

Like a ghost town, basically like nobody lives here anymore.

Chantelle Wright accepted the mayor's invitation to come back home,

only to find there are no schools nearby to send her four children.

This is home, I've been here all my life. Others face long lines at the few stores that managed to survive. No stores, the military's out with guns everywhere. With no emergency medical facilities, health care officials worry about what they call secondary disasters - citizens getting hurt while cleaning up. There is the absence of a level one trauma centre here within the city. Now residents are being told to get ready for another hurricane

and the governor insists evacuation orders will be followed. Well, there will be a mandatory evacuation and I do believe that 100% of the people will listen this time.

For the tax payer already facing

the cost of

the cost of Hurricane Katrina, NASA

is facing a plan of $130 million to

send astronauts to the moon. This may be our first view of the future of space flight, but it looks remarkably similar to the past. Except that unlike the Apollo missions to the moon, this will be a two-stage journey.

First a rocket carrying cargo and hardware will be sent into earth orbit, then a smaller launch vehicle carrying four astronauts will blast off.

NASA claims it will be much safer than the space shuttle. Both rockets will use engines and boosters which were designed for the shuttle program to reduce development costs. After the crew rendezvous, they will head to the moon with all four astronauts landing on the surface. NASA intends to establish a permanent base on the lunar surface and they'll travel more extensively than their predecessors, looking for ice which can be converted into water. The ultimate goal is to use this as a stepping stone to a manned mission

to Mars but the cost of going where man has already gone before is $100 billion and America is already facing a huge bill to repair the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina. When we have a hurricane, we don't cancel the Air Force, we don't cancel the Navy and we're not going to cancel NASA. Unless the United States

wants to get out of the manned space flight business completely,

then this is the vehicle we need to be building. And I don't hear anyone saying that the United States would be better off being out of space when other nations are there. The announcement comes as NASA is still trying to fix problems with the space shuttle. The next launch has slipped to March at the earliest. It will then be phased out completely in 2010. Then NASA will no longer have a spacecraft which can fly back to earth. The new vehicle will parachute onto dry land

rather than the splash-downs of the first generation of astronauts. But the appetite and excitement for space exploration is not what it used to be. And there will be many on Congress who are unwilling to write NASA a blank cheque. Next in Seven's 4.30 News we will take a look at the financial markets, check tomorrow's weather, and see what is making headlines around the country.

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You're watching Seven's 4.30 News.

Time to check the financial markets with Westpac global chief economist Bill Evans. Hello, Bill. What happened today?

No domestic data out today. All

eyes are on tropical storm Rita.

The commodity markets have gone

absolutely crazy. We have seen some

some oil platforms close but we saw

the oil commodities up 8 per cent.

We saw copper prizes up 3.2% and we

saw the gold hit a record. Even

though the US market was off about

80 points. Our market has surged. BHP which

BHP which should have been the main

beneficiary has improved but I

thought it would improve a lot more

given the good news on commodity

prices. The banks have done well

and of course the oil stocks have

done extremely well. The Aussie

dollar has surged.

Overnight of course we will be

watching for any follow threw on

commodity prices but even more

importantly we will watch the US

Federal Reserve. We are confident

they will raise interest rates but

will they talk about in creasing

inflation risks. Thanks, Bill. Now let's take a look at what the weather has in store for tomorrow. David Brown has the details. David. Thanks, David, and good afternoon. an active front is driving showers, an active front is driving showers, thunderstorms and strong winds over the south-west corner of the country while in the east it's been fairly quiet under this broad high pressure zone. The high will continue to dominate tomorrow but the front will sweep across South Australia producing some patchy rain and the odd thunderstorm

and we'll see a return to fine weather in the west

as a new high pushes in.

That's the latest weather. More at 6.00. David. Thanks, David. Seven News coming up in your capital city at 6.00, and these are some of the stories making headlines. Police on the Gold Coast have arrested a top Sydney brain surgeon

accusing him of possessing cocaine at a nightclub and in his hotel room. Dr Timothy Steel, the head of neurology at Concord Hospital is due to appear in court tomorrow. Aboriginal leaders are demanding New South Wales Planning Minister Frank Sartor step down after making a racist joke. They say it's as bad as the joke that ended the career of Opposition Leader John Brogden. The Premier agrees

The Premier agrees but says the difference is, Mr Sartor said "sorry" straight away. In Melbourne, the Federal Government and police have joined forces to secure the city ahead of next year's Commonwealth Games. Under the plan, commuters will be asked to be on alert for suspicious activity. Adelaides market gardeners are warning of a big increase in the price of vegetables. They say, they're being hit hard by the rocketing price of fuel

and will have no choice but to pass on the costs to consumers.

And in Perth, the police Tactical Response Group has shot an armed robbery suspect who was on parole and on bail for similar offences.

The 34-year-old man was also wanted in connection with a violent home invasion where police say the victim had three fingers cut off. Just some of the stories coming up in State editions of Seven News at 6.00.

But that's the 4.30 News for today. I'm David Johnston. See you at the same time tomorrow. Captioned by Seven Network Email -