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ABC Asia Pacific News -

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Live.

Wild weather cuts a swathe

across South East Asia. Japan

suffers its second major

earthquake in 36 hours. Deadly bomb attacks kill at least

bomb attacks kill at least 40

in Iraq. And the verdict due in

the case against Aung San Suu

Kyi.

Good morning. Beverley

O'Connor with ABC News for

Australia Network. At least 42

people have died across East

Asia as the region experiences

its worst weather in half a

century. Most of those killed

were in Taiwan and there are

were in Taiwan and there are

dozens of people still missing

in the wake of Typhoon Morakot.

China's east coast was also

battered by the typhoon which

has been downgraded to a

tropical storm. Homes washed

away and the residents can only

watch. Typhoon Morakot dumped

3m of rain on Taiwan across the

weekend. The gushing torrents

increased the have cut off villages an

increased the threat of landslides. There are fears

scores of people are trapped in

a landslide that hit this

mountain village. We've come to

help everybody. I can

understand how you feel now.

The military is on the ground

helping rescue those trapped by

the storm but rescue efforts

from the air have been hampered

by the severe weather. This

man says the mountain

level and collapsed, we live on a lower

level and the landslide was on

higher ground. All my relatives

were buried mpt and landslides

are hitting China as well.

Rescue workers have relocated

nearly 1.5 million people and

hundreds of homes have been levelled. Typhoon Morakot has weakened to a tropical storm

but meteorologists say it will

still bring heavy rain to

Shanghai.

floods Torrential rain has caused

floods and landslides in Japan

leaving at least 13 people

dead, another eight missing.

Thousands have also been forced

to leave their homes for

emergency shelters as Mark

Willacy reports. Soldiers were

deployed in Japan's west to

help thousands of residents

flee their homes. About 500

houses were inundated by rising

floodwaters caused by

torrential rain generated by

Typhoon Etau. Rivers burst

their banks, punching holes

through homes, knocking over

trees and washing away cars.

More heavy downpours of up to

200m are expected in eastern

Japan in the next 24 hours as

the typhoon moves closer to the

coast. A tsunami warning was issued

and then subsequently cancelled

for a number of countries

ringing the Indian ocean

following an earthquake off the

Andamann Islands. A quake

measuring 7.6 rumbled some 260

kilometres north of the Andaman

and Nicobar islands, a China of

islands east of India in the

Indian Ocean. A little time

later Tokyo swayed as a

magnitude 6.6 quake hit eastern and central

and central Japan. Buildings

across Tokyo including this

newsroom were rocked on their

foundations, as offices were

turned upside down, Tokyo's

transport system was also

affected, with a number of

highways and at least one rail

line closed. A series of bombs

have exploded in Iraq, killing

at least 40 people and injuring

another 200. The four pre-dawn

blasts near the northern city

of Mosul and in the capital

Baghdad come a month after US

forces rebegan withdrawing from

towns and cities. In the single

deadliest attack notice

northern city of Mosul, two

trucks packed with explosives

blew up simultaneously B 30 people were killed and more

than 100 others injured. Some

seriously. Many were asleep on

their rooftops during the

pre-dawn attacks. All those

killed were civilians. The

blast so powerful, they

levelled a number of homes in the predominantly Shia village.

There were scenes of chaos as

rescue ers frantically searched

for survivors. Officials

fearing the death toll could

rise. Baghdad too was rocked by

explosions. Two car bombs went

off at construction sites as

day labourers were gathering in

the early morning hours looking

for jobs. People were gathering

here to earn their living. What

did people do to deserve this?

Dozens were killed, another 80

were hurt. A bomb was placed in

a cement bag in the streets,

where day labourers grouped

together in amil neighbourhood. Despite a

significant decline in the

silence elsewhere notice

country attacks by insurgents including al-Qaeda remain

common around Iraq's two

largest cities. They are

happening in bag Baghdad. It's

not a comment on the security

forces. The Iraqi team want

more. We want controlling

security. The latest attacks have raised doubts over

have raised doubts over the

capabilities of Iraqi forces as

American troops continue

withdrawing from towns and cities. Any hopes of improvements appear dim with

Washington providing grim

warnings that insurgents are

expected to step up their

efforts to derail the

transition of power.

In Afghanistan, violence has

again disrupted campaigning

less than a fortnight before the presidential elections.

Suicide bombers have targeted

government buildings in a

provincial capital south Kabul

and the US commander in the

country has warned the Taliban

is gaining the upper hand. It

only took six militantss to

infiltrate Puli-alam. Then they

were trying to enter the building, the guard tried to

stop them. I heard shots fired.

I was working near the building

and I ran away. Rocket

propelled grn naids hit the governor's compound and the

police chief's office. The

Taliban fighters bunkered down

in one building. Afghan forces

surrounded their position. It

was around 12.30 when we heard

the big bang. I don't know

exactly but I heard suicide

bombers had entered the

building. All six Taliban

down by a fighters died with one shot

down by a US helicopter.

Another was wearing a suicide

vest and blew himself up. A handful of local police

officers and civilians were

also amongst the dead. The

attacks come shortly after the new US Commander in Afghanistan

gave a dire assessment of the

war. General Stanley McChrystal told the Wall Street journal

the Taliban has gained the

upper hand and record US

casualties will continue for

months. He's completing months. He's completing a 60

day review of the conflict but

it's unclear whether he will

call for more troops so early

in his command. His report was

due before the presidential

elections. But it's now been

pushed back to after the August 20 vote.

Indonesian police say terror suspect Noordin Mohammad Top is probably still free in

Indonesia despite reports of

his death. Fingerprint analysis has confirmed that has confirmed that a man police

killed during a raid on a

suspected hide-out at the

weekend was not the

Malaysian-born fugitive. While

Noordin Top's death hasn't been

formally ruled out police

continue to publicly maintain

the line that further testing

is required. Just one body was

recovered from the scene and

Indonesian police have flown

two suspected militants

arrested in the raid to Jakarta for further for further questioning.

Meanwhile an experienced

observer of terrorism in South

East Asia says claims of a plot

to asags Nate Susilo Bambang

Yudhoyono needs closer

examination. Sid Jones's

comments follow reports that

the Indonesian President was a

terrorist target. This wouldn't

be the first time that we have

either government officials or government buildings named as government buildings named as

possible targets but clearly

the first time the President

himself has been a possible

target, and we don't know how

strong yet that evidence is of

how well the plot was advanced

and so on. Are' watching ABC

News for Australia Network.

Coming up - the search for

victims of Tonga's ferry

disaster suspended. And -

saving an Indian icon. A

breeding program to conserve the famed white tiger.

The long awaited verdict is

expected today in the trial of

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The 64-year-old Nobel laureate has

been charged with breaching the

conditions of her house arrest. conditions of her house arrest.

It follows an incident in May

when an American war veteran

swam to her home in central

Rangoon and stayed there for

two nights. After a delay of

several weeks, the verdict is expected to come down today

there seems to be little doubt

that she will be found guilty,

which means a possible jail

term of up to five years. Aung

San Suu Kyi was arrested and

taken to prison in taken to prison in early May

after an uninvited guest,

American Victoria Anyetei,

spent two nights in her --

John Yetor spent two nights in

her home. He has also been on

trial for breaching Burma's

security laws. He suffers from

for physical and mental health

and was hospitalised last week.

He's told the court he wanted

to visit her to

to visit her to warn her of an

assassination plot. Suu Kyi's

lawyers had argued that the Burmese authorities were

responsible for security around

her home and they should be

blamed. They also told the

court the statute under which

she was charged has expired.

Throughout the trial, her legal

team was given little time with

her, and she was permitted only

two defence witnesses.

Diplomats have been permitted

to sit in on some hearings but it has it has not been open to foreign

reporters. Suu Kyi has been

spent 14 years in detention

since winning elections in

1990. While the military junta

has publicly played down her

popularity, the generals are

said to be worried about what

might happen if she were

released. They are keen to

ensure no-one gets in the way

of their plans to legitimatise

their hold on power in national elections slated elections slated for next year.

The Pakistani government says

it will produce conclusive

evidence that the leader of the

Pakistani Taliban Baitullah

Mehsud is dead. The Interior

Ministry says it will soon

provide DNA evidence that

Mehsud was killed in an

American air strike in a north-western tribal region

last week. A senior aide to the

Taliban leader has rejected

this, but says Mehsud this, but says Mehsud is

gravely ill. And the captain of

the Tongan ferry which sank

leaving 93 people presumed dead

says hee was pressured into the

sailing the ship even though authorities knew it had

problems. As investigations

into the disaster continue,

searchers have suspended their

underwater hunt for the sunken

ferry because of rough weather.

No survivors have been found since an

since an initial rescue of 54

people and the recovery of two

bodies an severe the ferry sank

last Wednesday. The Tongan

government says the ferry met international maritime standards. But the captain of

the ferry says the government

should take some responsibility

for the accident. The

government has a role --

has it wrong to run the boat because the government because the government knows

everything about the bought

because they surveyed the boat. He says financial pressures delayed much needed

repairs for the ferry. About

there's no time to stop the

boat from running because it's

a business and they need money.

To run the boat all the time.

But they have no time to delay

for repairing the boat. for repairing the boat. The

captain says the ferry sank in

small waves when it started

taking on water from rusted

loading ramps. He was the last

to make it out of the ferry and

only survived because he

managed to open a hatch that

led had his freedom. I lost my

crew. (Pauses) my friends.

(Pauses) Passengers. Some are fathers.

fathers. Some are mothers.

Mostly have children. And I love them from my heart.

More than 90 people are

still missing presumed dead. A

Royal Commission will be set up

to investigate the accident. The head of South Korea's

Hyundai group is in North Korea

on a mission to help free an

employee who has been held

there for four months. The

South Korean worked at the

Kaesong industrial estate and

was detained in March for

allegedly denouncing

Pyongyang's political system.

In South Korea, it's not

consistent an arrest but an

abduction. The chair is visiting North visiting North Korea I heard.

North Korea should release the

worker immediately. Before

crossing the border the head of

Hyundai wasn't giving much away

about the mission. I will try

my rest for it to be resolved.

Hyundai has poured hundreds of

millions of dollars into joint

projects in North Korea,

including a joint industrial including a joint industrial

park, where South Korean run factories employ North Korean

workers and into tours to a

famed mountain resort. But amid tensions with the south, North

Korea hamtsed the tours last

year and in March took custody

of the Hyundai employee, who

they accuse of insulting the

north's leaders. Regarding the detained South Korean employee,

our government is making all

necessary effort. But since

this is related to our

citizens' security, it is

difficult to comment. The trip

by the Hyundai delegation comes

on the heels of a visit by

former US President Bill

Clinton, who successfully

negotiated the release of two American journalists with North

Korean President Kim Jong Il.

The Indian Government is in

crisis mode as it works to

prevent the spread of the H1N1

flu virus. Health agencies fear

swine flu could become an

epidemic across India. There

are around 1,000 confirmed

cases and at least six people

have died. Emergency plans are

being activated. With the

number of suspected cases

rising India's Prime Minister

has called for cooperation

across all levels of government

to try and stop the to try and stop the virus.

Papua New Guinea's Police

Commissioner has banned a demonstration scheduled for

later this week in the capital

Port Moresby. Organisers want

to march in support of proposed

changes to mining legislation

that will give people ownership

of resources found on their

land. But after a protest in

April ended with the

destruction of Asian-owned

businesses, the commissioner

says he doesn't want to see a

repeat of those repeat of those scenes. Until

I'm convinced that, you know,

it's going to be peaceful, it

will not be on. The police must

not ... um ... talk about

violence as an excuse to deny

constitutional rights. Despite

the police ban the organisers

say the march will go ahead as

planned on Thursday. Australian Opposition Leader Malcolm

Turnbull has shrugged off rumblings about his leadership

and presented his alternative

to the government's emissions

trading scheme. He says he has

found a way to cut carbon and

save money. The government says

he is simply recycling an old

idea that doesn't add up. Three

days out from the Senate vote,

Malcolm Turnbull entered with a new emissions trading

alternative. A well-designed

scheme that is greener,

cheaper, and smarter. That

should be the aim. Consultant

Frontier Economics has tweaked

the governments's e emissions

trading scheme to save $49

billion in the first 20 years,

and to double 2020 emissions

cuts from 5 to 10%. If you want

to use the car equivalent,

that's about 6 million cars off

the road per annum. It's done

by taking power generators off

the cap in trade system into a

hybrid, where permits are

bought if they emit a baseline

level and sold if they're below

T according to its its authors,

power would be cheaper. The

average household could save

more than $200 a year. It's up

to the government to disprove

this. It's not a hybrid, it's a

mongrel. It's not a credible

alternative, it's a

smokescreen. It will not work.

It's a huge wealth transfer to

the big polluters. Kevin Rudd's oblivious to Malcolm

Turnbull's plea to negotiate.

He's taken his advocacy direct

to the public through Internet

chats a-Tiananmen Square that

the Liberal Leader is in no

position to talk anyway. This

is not coalition policy or

Xenophon policy, it's an input

into the debate. The emissions

plan isn't a danger to the

divided coalition until it's

asked to make it policy and in his fragile position, Malcolm

Turnbull won't be asking until

he needs to. Newspoll measures

the damage done by the OzCar affair, dissatisfaction is up

to 57%, and as better Prime

Minister he sits on a distant

17. How are you going to turn

that around? Well, I'm happy

... I'm not commenting on

polls. The party room awaits an answer, too. Two young Australian tam

minimums are taking the long

road to Canberra walking to the

capital to raise aware bns the humanitarian situation in Sri

Lanka. The pair began their 300

kilometre walk from Sydney.

They are hoping to draw

attention to the plight of 300,000 people living in

refugee camps in Sri Lanka that were displaced during recent

fighting at the end of the

country's long-running civil

war. They're aiming to reach

Canberra in just nine days.

Some are calling it the biggest

and best art exhibition ever to

come to Australia. Canberra's National Gallery has secured

the loan of some of the world's

most famous masterpieces from

the Musee D'Orsay in Paris.

Siobhan Heanue reports. It's

the blockbuster to beat all

blockbusters. Never before have

so many masterpieces been

brought together in one

exhibition in this country.

Australians will be able to

view some of the best known Van

Goghs, Gauguins and Cezannes

without having to buy the

ticket to Paris. The Musee

D'Orsay is undergoing

renovations. Rather than put

some of the world's most

popular and most expensive

artworks into storage, the

Paris institution decided to

send them on a world tour. Getting commercial insurance

for the estimated $2 billion

worth of post impressionist art

would've been near impossible, so the Federal Government

stepped in to provide

indemnity. I'm absolutely

delighted that the Commonwealth

was able to do that, because it

certainly - this is a real blockbuster, there niece

question about it. Many of the works have never left works have never left the Musee

D'Orsay. The idea of

transporting so many at once

would make any gallery director

go weak at the knees. That's

why they're coming in separate

planes! Despite all the fanfare, the show will cost so

much to put on, it's not

expected to make any

money. They're not money-making

exercises. They're to bring the

people in and to bring the masterpieces f.s we break even we will be happy. we will be happy. The gallery

expects a quarter of a million

visitors between the exhibition's opening in

December and April. I know that

Aussies are gonna get the

biggest dose of culture ever imaginable from this fantastic

collection. A culture coup for

the country.

And you're watching ABC News

for Australia Network. In the headlines -

headlines - two typhoons to cut

a swathe through China, Taiwan

and Japan, leaving a rising

death tom and a massive damage bill.

In business news, the

Federal Government has welcomed

a multibillion dollar liquid

natural gas deal between

Australia and India. The

proposed Gorgon LNG project in Western Australia would produce

1.5 million tonnes of gas annually for

annually for the next 20 years.

The project is still awaiting

final approval. It would cost

around $50 billion to build,

and it's claimed it would

create thousands of jobs. Now

let's check the financial

markets. Overnight in the US

investors opted for a

profit-taking sessions after a

month of gains that cull main Nated in the

Nated in the Dow reaching its

highest point since November on Friday.

North Korea has put on a

huge show of synchronised dance

and gymnastics to promote the

country's aim of achieving country's aim of achieving

prosperity by 2012. The

performance is called Ararung

after a well known folk story

and features a cast of about 100,000. Many are

schoolchildren and students.

Thousands are spectators are

turning out in Pyongyang to

watch the performance. It's

expected to run until October.

2012 will mark the 100th

anniversary of the birth of the country's founding country's founding leader Kim

Il-Sung. Organisers of the world badminton Championship in India

say England's decision to pull

out hasn't affected the

tournament. England decided to

fly home on Sunday amid

concerns the team might be the

target of an attack, but the

Indian coach says everyone else

is satisfied with arrangements. I think most of arrangements. I think most of

the teams, top players are

basically here, and they are

really happy with the way

things are. I don't see any

reason to be really panicky

about that. The Championships

have begun minus the English

side under tight security.

All-rounder Andrew Flintoff

will play in the fifth Ashes

Test but a few relationships

within the English team

appeared to be a little

strained. It's been revealed the big all-rounder wanted the big all-rounder wanted to

play in the fourth Test, but

was overruled. His manager said

his body felt good enough to

play in Headingley, but the

selectors, including captain

Andrew Strauss, decided against

him. But he will be back for

the final Test at the Oval with

the swelling on his troublesome

right knee easing

significantly. Now a look at at

how the weather is shaping up

for us for the next 24 hours.

Finally - the Laknou zoo in

India has begun a breeding

program to conserve the famed

Indian tigers. These are two of Indian tigers. These are two of the star attractions of the

program. The pair has been a

favourite of visitors to the

zoo and will now get extra

attention from zoo keepers. The

population of white tigers has

been dwindling in India, and

the animal is now rarely found

in the wild. It's estimated

India loses between 2 and 300

tigers a year, largely due to

poaching. Magnificent! You've

been watching ABC News for

Australia Network. Let's check

again our top again our top stories. A

growing death toll across East

Asia as the region experiences

its worst weather in 50 years.

Four bombs have exploded in the

Iraqi cities of Baghdad and

Mosul, killing at least 40

people. And the long awaited

verdict in the trial of Burmese

pro-democracy leader Aung San

Suu Kyi expected later today.

That's the bulletin. You can

always go to our web

always go to our web site for the latest news from the

region. I'm Bev O'Connor. We'll see you soon. Bye-bye.

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