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Live.

More than #,000 people

evacuated with floodwaters

threatening hopes in north-west

NSW. Britain and the US close

their embassies in Yemen amid

warnings of an al-Qa'ida attack. The Indian Government

demands action over the

stabbing murder of an Indian

man in Melbourne. And Australia

scuttled after Ricky Ponting

elects to bat on a seaming

wicket at the SCG. Good

morning. It's Monday 4 January.

I'm Joe O'Brien. And I'm Mary

Gearin. The top story on ABC

News Breakfast - about 1,000

people have been evacuated from

their homes in NSW. Residents

from Coonamble in the

north-west are taking shelter

in temporary accommodation. The

Castlereagh River is expected

to peak around 5.5m this

morning and could breach its levee. Major flood warnings

have been issued for Coonamble

and the SES is urging residents

to follow evacuation

orders. For more on that NSW

SES spokesman Phil Campbell

joins us now from Dubbo by

phone. Thank you for joining us

this morning. What has happened

overnight especially to that

crucial water level? We have at

the Castlereagh River continued

to rise overnight. It's

currently at 5.1m, still rising

towards that expected peak

sometime between 6 and 9am this

morning of 5.5m. So that is

where you still expect it to

stop at 5.5 which is part-time

40 centimetre below the level

of the levee? That is the

expectation of the Weather

Bureau. We are expecting that

that particular river height

will put a fair degree of pressure on that levee that

does protect the eastern side

of Coonamble. What will happen

do you think at 5.1m, do you

think that enough people have

been evacuated? We are quite

happy with the response the majority of the population of

Coonamble. We have got around

and door knocked those

residents within the part of

town that has been affected by

this evacuation order and the

majority of the people from

have understood that there is a

threat to the levee at the

height that's predicted of 5.5m

and although that particular

threat of the breaching of a

portion of the levee is a

remote one, in the interests of

public safety people are understanding that it is

important that they move themselves...

(PROBLEM WITH SOUND)

We have lost Phil Campbell

there from the SES. We will try

to get back to him later in we

can. In other news this

morning, Britain and the US

have closed their embassy in

Yemen in the face of more

terrorism threats. The top

anti-terror spokesman for White

House said he was concerned

al-Qa'ida was planning an

attack in the Yemeni capital

Sanaa. Died has been growing in

stret in the country. Yemeni

al-Qa'ida members have claimed

responsibility for the failed

bomb plot on Christmas day. The

Indian Government has called

for strong action to be taken

after an Indian man was

murdered in Melbourne. 21-year-old Nitin Garg was

stabbed to death in Footscray

on Saturday night. The Indian

Government says his death has

generated deep anger and could

affect ties between the two

countries. There's been another

death from that horrific

portfolio tanker smash in NSW

last week. The father of the

two girls girled in the

accident near Batemans Bay as

now died from the injuries he

suffered. The mother of the

girls is still in hospital. The

man's death taking the national

holiday road tool to 69. The

first suspected aseek boat

interceped this year is on its

way to Christmas Island. The

boat has 76 people on board. It

was intercepted three nautical

on Saturday. The group is being miles north of Christmas Island

taken to the island for

security and identity checks.

The United Nations says the

rejection of most of Hamid

Karzai's new Cabinet is a

political setback for

Afghanistan. The UN special

representative for Afghanistan

Kai Eide said the war-torn

region now faced weeks of

uncertainty. The Afghan

parliament approved just seven

of the 24 ministers nom heated

by President Karzai. Among

those rejected were a powerful

war lord and the country's only

female Minister. We're just

going back to that story about

the floods in Coonamble. We've

managed to regain contact with

the it's spokesman Phil

Campbell. Thank you for

re-joining us from Dubbo. Just

to review, you've said that the

floods should still peak you're

expecting at 5.5m sometime

between 6 and tam, that's right

right? That is correct. That's

the advice we have from the

Weather Bureau as of a short

time ago. And you were talking about most people having been

receptive to the order to

evacuate, does that mean that

there are still some people

there who have refused? There

have been been some people who

have been reluktsant to evacuate their properties. We

have made it clear that those

people do place themselves in

danger and of course they place

the lives of the emergency

service volunteers and workers

in the community in danger as

well in the unlikely event that

there is a breach in the levee

and we do have flood wears that

enter a portion of the town. Can you estimate how many

people have refused to go?

The The number is not

significant. The majority of

people we're pleased to to say

have been very responsive and

have understood the necessity

to evacuate. Of course, it's

been reported that about 1,000

people have been moved last

night. That's aet pretty major operation, can you say what's

happened to them and what their

needs have been

overnight? We've had most of

those people go to family and

friends within the township

itself. Most of the town is

unaffected by flooding. We've

also had around 300 people registration with the didn't of community services and they

have acted to find those people

temp rafr accommodation until

such time as they're able to

return home. What work is being

done by your people overnight

and what continues to be

done? SES volunteers overnight

have within monitoring the

situation very closely doing

river level readings, working

with the local other emergency

services in the community,

particularly with the

Department of Community

Services for the welfare of

those people in this town,

we'll continue to monitor the

situation very closely during

today and once we are satisfied

that this threat has passed

we'll then issue the all

clear. Phil Campbell, thank you

very much for joining us. Thank

you. The Afghan President Hamid

Karzai is facing a political

crisis. 17 of his 24 nominations for cabinet have

been rejected by parliament,

President Karzai is under

increasing domestic and

international pressure to clean

up his Government. The Afghan

parliament delivered a rebuke

to President Karzai. Only seven

of his 24 Cabinet nominees were

accepted. Opponents say Mr

Karzai has himself to

blame. All has been one man

calamity and there is no doubt

that it adds to the problems

that there has been there. And

we know who is responsible for

it. There were high profile

casualties. Former war lord

Ismail Khan was rejected as

water and emergency Minister

and the only female candidate

Husn Bano Ghazanfar failed to

win enough support to become

women's affairs Minister. We

have a secret ballot, we don't

know yet how many people will

succeed but there are a lot of

wheelings and dealing behind

the scene Some strong

performers were reapointed including Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior

Minister Hanif Atmar. President

Karzai is under pressure at

home and abroad to wipe out

krumtion and improve standards

of governance but during a

visit to the relatives of an

air strike in Helmand he also

called top Coalition to reduce

civilian casualties.

TRANSLATION: We strongly ask

the foreign forces in Afghanistan to stop irregular

house searchs and uncoordinated operations especially air

strikes. President Karzai only

has two days to submit a list

of new nominees before

parliament goes into winter

recess. His second term has

already had an icy start. The

Productivity Commission's

report into executive pay is

expected to recommend watering

down laws aimed at clamping

down on obscene salaries. The commission's final report will

be released today. For more

Melissa Clarke joins us now

from Canberra. Welcome back

from your Christmas break short

as it might have been. So the

business lobby appears to have

been able to get the year of

the Productivity Commission? Certainly. They've

been working hard over the last

few weeks and in the last few

months since the Productivity

Commission put out its draft

report into executive pay. The

Government asked the

Productivity Commission to look

at how some of the more

outrageous executive pay and

salaries could be reined in and

late last year they cam back

with some recommendations, in

particular a two strikes

proposal. The Productivity

Commission recommended that the

Government make laws so that if

two years in a row at two AGMs

is if a quarter of shareholders

rejected the remuneration

packages for the company's

executives that would lead

automatically to a spill of the

directors of the company. This

was aimed at making sure that

companies and boards are

accountable to shareholders for

how much they're giving the top

executives of a company. If I

remember at the time the

business lobby was extremely concerned about that recommendation? They were

really worried that a small and

noisy minority of shareholders

could in fact disrupt a whole

board. You could only need 25%

two years in a row for a board

to be spilled and they thought

that that would mean that noisy

minorities that doesn't necessarily reflect the view of

the whole of the shareholders

would be their best interesting

would be served by this so

they've been working to try and

get this changed around and we

understand that the final

report which has been hand to

Government last month and we

expect will be released

publicly today, we understand

that that final report is

actually watered down that

recommendation and instead

recommends that if there are

two years in a row where a

quarter of share holders vote

against it, instead of there

being a spill of the board that

then triggers a third vote at

which 50% or half of

shareholders would have to vote

for the board to be spilled and

then there would be a re-election. It really becomes

from a two strike policy to a

three strike policy. We all

Kevin Rudd's tough talk on

business and corporate greed,

you would think for him to back

away from stronger

recommendations on something

like this wouldn't necessarily go down that well in the

electorate? Well, there's certainly a lot of other interest group and other political parties that are

pushing for things to be even

tougher, not watered down. The

Greens very much and the union

movement have been pushing for

some kind of cap on salaries be

it a businessical dollar limit,

they want to see those kind of

limits put in place. The

Productivity Commission has

completely rejected the need

for that saying that it

wouldn't necessarily be helpful

and could disadvantage business

so there certainly is a fair

proportion of the community

looking for tougher regulation,

not easy regulation so the

Government is going to have to

consider very carefully whether

it does follow the Productivity

Commission's moves or not Kevin

Rudd's literary efforts aren't

confined to 7,000 word pieces

on corporate greed? I think

he's taken a bit easier this

summer holidays. Maybe when his

wife said got to take it easy

over summer he listened because

because this time he's taken

his hand to writing children's

books. Maybe that's no not to

seizy? I think it would be much

harder. We all know kids'

attention is much harder to

keep. He and Rees mull doon,

one of the presenters of

Playschool have put together a

book about a dog and cat's

adventures at the Lodge on

Australia Day. Certainly a bit

of a different holiday for

Kevin Rudd this Christmas We'll

see if it's an award winner.

Thank you for that. Now to the

front pages of the major

newspapers around the country.

The 'Australian' reports on

that final Productivity

Commission report that waters

down a controversy proposal to

make boards accountable for

remuneration deals The Federal

Government's report into

executive pay and bonuses

proposes handing greater

control of director's salaries

to share holders says the

'Sydney Morning Herald'. The

'Financial Review' says the Australian energy regulator

will push electricity and gas

companies to justify price

rises to business users. The

'Age' reports Melbourne may

never need water from the

north-south pipeline with a

stock take showing the city

should be supplied yobd the

start of the desalinisation

plant next year. Ricky Ponting's first ball duck

sparked a day of devastation at

the SCG says the 'Herald Sun'.

Look at that picture of

devastation there. The 'Daily

Telegraph' says households and

businesses that can't afford

solar power will pay up to $450

million to those that can as

part of a NSW Government

scheme. Urban sprawl the

stretching Adelaide to breaking

point reports the 'Advertiser'. The 'Northern

Territory News' says a much

loved member of the Northern

Territory police force is being

mourned after a fatal bashing

on naur year's eve. A community

patrol that emerged on the

streets of New York in the 90

70s will bring its brand of

justice and safety to the'S

streets say the and finally the 'Mercury' reports that

Tasmania's political leaders

have started exchanging insults

in an attempt to win Government

in just over two months. If

you'd like to send us your

feedback - The top stories on ABC News

Breakfast - - emergency

services in NSW have evacuated

around 12,000 people have

Coonamble in the State's

north-west, the SES says the

Castlereagh River is expected

to peak in the next three hours. The United States and

Britain have closed their Yemen

embassy in response to threats

from al-Qa'ida. The top anti-

terror spokesman for the whaus

said he was concerned al-Qa'ida

was planning an attack in the

Yemeni capital. And the Indian

Government has reacted angrily

to St stabbing murder of an

Indian man in murder. Delhi

says the killing of Nitin Garg

has generated deep anger and

could affect bilateral ties.

There's anger on the streets

of Baghdad after a US court

dropped all charges against

five security guards accused of

gunning down 17 Iraqi civilians

in 2007. The Americans worked

for the Blackwater worldwide

security company and were in

Iraq protecting US

officials. The Iraqi Government

has described the ruling as

unjust and unacceptable. And

splashed across the front pages

of the country's newspapers is

that same sentiment. The US Federal Court dropped all

charges relating to the

shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians

in Baghdad because of

procedural errors. Dismissing

charges on the Blackwater

guards who killed 17 Iraqi

civilians is an unjust and

unfair decision to all Iraqi

people. We demand the Iraqi

jurisdiction sue the US court

on that because the Iraqi

people are precious and this

decision is unjust and

unfair. The shooting happened

on September 16 2007. A team of heavily harmed Blackwater

security guards escorting US

officials began firing across

an intersection after hearing

gun fire and an explos. The

five merps all military

veterans say they began

shooting in self-defence. 17

Iraqi civilians were killed in

the gun fire. The Blackwater

security guards were charmed a

year ago with numerous counts

of manslaughter and weapons

violations but the case is now

over. The US judge says

prosecutors wrongly used

statements the guards made to

State department investigators

under a threat of job loss.

This newspaper headline reads -

Iraq is going to pursue those

involved in the killings. It's

not know how the Government

intends to do that. More than a

quarter of voters in Iceland

have signed a petition asking

their President to repay more

than $6 billion lost by

investors in the collapse of

the Ice-Save Bank. Hundreds of

people gathered outside the

home of the President to

present him with a petition.

The bill to refund investors

has passediseland's parliament

but the President is yet to

sign. The President has said

that repaying the investors

would be a heavy burden on

taxpayers. To the markets -

Coming up we'll speak to our

reporter Marie Scoutas who is

in the north-west NSW town of

Coonamble. She'll give us an

update on the floods there but

we hear that the river threr is

expected to peak sometime

between 6 and 9 this

morning. Sometime while we're

on air. And also ahead we'll

have a ve view of some of the

newspapers and this morning

we'll be joined by Monash

University lecturer Waleed

Aly. But now with sport here is

Luke Waters and what happened

to the Aussies? It's a fair

question, Joe. Good morning.

Well cricket is first and the

heart has been torn out of

Australia's hop order on an SCG

green top. Ricky Ponting's

decision to bat first on the

seaming wicket is now under

intense scrutiny. Sydney simply

failed to sizzle for the Test's

opening hours. It doesn't

even,000 up. There's just

enough to delay things The

umpires the covers and many of

the players came on and off the

ground several times. There was

conjecture about the toss. Used

to be bat every time. Today,

this is a bowling day. It came

three hours after the scheduled start. It's always my

preference to bat, the guys

inside are happy with that

decision as well. I'm pleased.

Maybe we win toss we also bowl. The Pakistani players

warmed up in pink caps signed

them and handed them over for

breast cancer nurse

fundraising Phillip Hughes

entered the fray to replace the

injured Simon Katich. The stay

was brief. A ten ball

duck. Straight to sect

slip. Ricky Ponting's duck was

golden. This was one of the

more awkward pull shots of the

skipper's career. He's got

him Despite the difficult

conditions , Watson tried to

play his shots but he'd only

reached six when Sami again

found the seam, at 3 for 10 the

innings was on a knife edge.

Mike Hussey looked to get the

scoreboard moving but Clarke

was softened up then

bowled. Bowled him. On 28

Hussey skied a pull shot and

then Asif had North caught

behind to make it 6 for 51. He

too had two wickets in two

balls.. Marcus North goes. Brad

Haddin miscued.. It's out. It

was 7 for 67 at tea. After the

break, for a few overs it was a

different game as Nathan

Hauritz and Mitchell Johnson

plundered precious runs. The

tail wagged the totally to 127

z, Asif finished with six

scalps. Pakistan's openers

survived a few testing overs to

score 14 before accepting the

light ten minutes before the

scheduled close. To tennis and

Kim Clijsters has kicked off her Australian Open

preparations with a straight

sets win at the Brisbane international. The former world

number one was too strong for

Italian Tathiana Garbin, Australia's Alicia Molik needed

three sets to beat her Russian

opponent. Kim Clijsters was wary about her first match of

the year and Italy's Tathiana

Garbin put early pressure on

the top seed. Clijsters broke

back in the next game and soon

found her rhythm. Fans didn't

expect Clijsters to have much

trouble beating the Italian but

Garbin made the star work for

her points. Clijsters shook off

any early season rust enroute

to claiming the first set and

had her opponent searching for

answers. Luck seemed to favour

the drawcard and Clijsters was

quick to capitalise on her

braebs. The two time grand slam

winner forced Garbin into

errors and pressed home her

advantage I'm really happy that

I'm hear because it really

makes the transition I think to

mental a little easier and at

least now we have the roof a

little bit and you get a feel

for the humidity. Like Clijsters Australia's Alicia

Molik is in the early stages of

a comeback. She show cased her

power against Russian Ekaterina

Makarova. Model model limited

Ekaterina Makarova's

opportunities on her serve and

punished her rival's. The

Russiandomated Molik in a lop

sided second set but Molik will

face Clijsters in the second round. Frenchman Gael Monfies only flew into Brisbane last

night and was quick to get on

to centre court to loosen up.

He showed his tricks extend

beyond the tennis court but

knows he'll have his hands full

gins Taylor Dent. The first

much is really tough. I have

one or two days more to be ready. He admits lit take some

time to get used to the

humidity. Still on tennis and

Spain has asserted itself on Perth's Hopman Cup tournament

with both Spaniards winning

their singles matches in

straight sets. The Aussies

meanwhile are still reeling

from their shock loss to Romania. Spain's Maria Jose

Martinez Sanchez started as

favourite against American

Melanie Oudin and she took the

first set 6-4. Great rally. The

Spaniard jumped ahead in the

second set and after failing to

serve out the match at the

first opportunity she wasn't

going to make the same mistake

twice. Clinical volley to

finish the match. Martinez

Sanchez's win gave Tommy

Robredo the chance to secure

the tie for Spain with victory over John Isner but the American's big serve allowed

him to take the first set in a tie-break. Robredo Bowned back

into force a third set and like

most of the match the deciding

was evenly contested. It took

another tie-break to separate

the two players and the

Spaniard's class proved the difference. Robredo, seals the

tie and the win for Spain. I'm

tired after praying 2.5 hours

the first match of the year.

It's really tough but anyway

I'm so proud because playing

against a player like John, he

serving like that, so difficult

to keep focus all the

time Robredo's win insured the

mix doubles was a dead rubber

for the first time at this

year's tournment. Last night

the Australian pair of Samantha

Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt made

a poor start to their decisive

doubles match against Romanian f tfnlt contract for Australia

getting more difficult all the

time. Down a set and a

break. The top seeded

Australians never recovered and

defeat has the hosts staring

down the barrel of another

failing Hopman Cup campaign. So

hopefully Hewitt and Stosur can

bounce back in the tie against

the United States but the story

of the day in sport obviously

is the Aussies capitulation and

obviously pontings g's decision

after winning the decision to

bat on the green top. Why was

it so obviously a bowling

pitch? Obviously they had a

late start A lot of rain around, there was humidity,

there was moisture, the wicket

in Sydney is normally dry and

it's a really hay colour but yesterday there was a lot of

grass on it and the grass was

green so the faster bowlers and

the seamers were always going

to get the assistance and

everyone was saying it around

the toss of the coin that it

really was 9 #.5% of the time

you would always win the toss

and bat in Sydney but this was

one of the rare occasions where

you'd consider Powell bowl As

everyone has now been

speculating is Ponting now just

too conservative since

Edgbaston. Does he compulsively

need to bat every time he wins

the toss Is he gun shy? People

were calling for his scalp as

skipper after that ill feted

Test in Edgbaston and I suppose

you can see why he would be

wary but it's funny how times

change. Last week he became the

most successful skipper in Test

history and now here he is a

week on and people are really

questioning his decision making

ability when it comes to the

all important toss of the coin

and the decision do we bat or bowl.Some That bolter Watson

was really migz Obviously

assisted by the humidity, the

conditions the swing and the

seam but they did bowl well and

no matter how good the

conditions are I've still to

the go use them and the

Pakistanis used these

conditions beautiful will And

they can walk away with a

win Possibly. Wait till day two starts ABC News Breakfast can

be latch watched live on the

web from anywhere. Just visit

- Now as well as all that rain

over NSW, it's hot in WA,

Vanessa O'Hanlon? Certainly is.

Good morning. For Western

Australia, we have extreme fire

danger warnings, in the north

for the east Pilbara region you

are on a fire warning today and

in the south the central west,

central wheatbelt and also the

lower West districts. For Perth

a total fire ban aploys between

10am and 7pm today. Around the

country with the satellite

image and cloud is very thick

across the tropics in an active

monsoon. Storms are heaviest

around the Top End. Storms and

showers over Queensland and a

clearing low cloud on the

south-east coast has a bit of

drizzle as well. Further to the

top aepd a monsoonal trough has

combined with a tropical low.

It's roughly 115 kilometre

south-west of Darwin. Heavy

rain is for caste for the

tropics. Moist easterlies

continue to feed into the trough over Queensland and

north-east NSW causing more

showers and storms and for the

south warmer temperatures ahead

of a trough bringing a cooler

change to the south. The top story on ABC News

Breakfast - residents in part

of north-west NSW are on high

alert this morning as flood

wears continue to rise. The

Castlereagh River at Coonamble

is at 5 0.1m now and is

expected to reach a peak of

about 5.5m in the next three

hours. About 1,000 residents

have been evacuate amid fears

the levee will not hold. Major

flash issues have been issued

for Coonamble and the session

is urging residents to follow

evacuation orders. NSW SES

spokesman Phil Campbell says

he's been happy with the

response from the majority of

the population of

Coonamble. But hi says some

residents have still been

reluctant to evacuate the

area We have head it clear that

those people do place

themselves in danger and of

course they place the lives of the emergency service

volunteers and workers in the

community in danger as well in

the unlikely event that there

is a breach in the levee and we

do have floodwaters that do enter a portion of the

town. Can you estimate how many

people have refused to go? The

number is not a significant

number of people. The majority

of people we're pleased to say

have been very responsive and

have understood the necessity

to evacuate. Of course, it's been reported that about 1,000

people have been moved last

night, that's a pretty major

operation, can you say what's

happened to them and what their

needs have been overnight. We've had most of

those people go to family and

friends, within the

townshipist. Most of the town

is unaffected by flooding.

We've also had around 300

people register with the

department of community

services and they have acted to

find those people temporary accommodation until such time

as they're able to return

home. And can you say what work

is being done by your people

overnight and what continues to

be done? SES volunteers

overnight have been been

monitoring the situation very

closely doing river level

readings, working with the

local other emergency services

in the community particularly

with the Department of

Community Services for the

welfare of those people in the

town, we'll continue to monitor

the situation very closely

during today and once we are

satisfied that the threat has

passed we'll then issue the all clear Phil Campbell there from

the NSW SES. If you're in

Coonamble this morning, let us

know how the night has been and

what you're expected today and

also if you've got a view on

the death of another Indian

student in Australia trees been

another Indian student killed

in Melbourne, let us know what

you're thinking about that as

well.

Britain and the US have

closed their embassies in Yemen

in the face of more terrorism

threats. The top anti-terror

spokesman for the White House

said he was kerpd al-Qa'ida was

planning an attack in the

Yemeni capital Sanaa. There's

fierce Yemen is becoming an

al-Qa'ida haven after the group claimed responsibility for

failed bomb blot in the US on

Christmas day. The Indian

Government has called for

strong action to be taken after

an mind man was murdered in

Melbourne. 21-year-old Nitin

Garg was stabbed to death in

Footscray in Melbourne on

Saturday night. News of the

fatal stabbing has received

widespread coverage in the

Indian media and the Indian

Government says his death could

affect ties between the two

countries. The father of two

girls killed in a tasker smash

near Batemans Bay last week has

died. The man died from

injuries he received in the

accident in NSW. The mother of

the girls remains in hospital.

The man's death takes the

national holiday road toll to

69. The first suspected a-Sea

Eagles boat intercepted this

year is on its way to Christmas

Island. The boat has 76 people

on board. It was interceped

three nautical miles north of Christmas Island on Saturday.

The group is being taken to the

island for security and

identity checks. And the United

Nations says the rejection of

most of Hamid Karzai's new

Cabinet is a political setback

for Afghanistan. The UN special

representative for Afghanistan,

Kai Eide, said the war-torn

region now faced weeks of

uncertainty. The Afghan

parliament approved just seven

of 24 ministers nominated by Mr

Karzai. Among those rejected

were a powerful war lord and

the country's only female

Minister. Tens of thousands of

people who'd been evacuated

from the central Philippines

following threats of a

volcanoic erumtion have begun returning home. Authorities

have lowered the alert level

for the Mayon volcano weeks

after predicting an imminent

eruption. While Mayon appears

to be calming down active

volcanos in Africa and South

America have now erupted

forcing authorities to order

mass evacuations there. One of

the most active volcanos in

Africa, Mount Nyamulagira has

reerupt ed spus tonnes of lava

into a nearby National Park. We

were sleeping when people came

to wake us up to say the volcano was erupting this man

says. When we looked toward the

volcano we saw a mass of red

lava. Villagers close to the

volcano have been spared and

officials say the situation is

under control. But seismic

activity many in the region has

authorities on edge about

another volcano that's

threatening to cause real

damage.

TRANSLATION: What's happening

to the Nyamulagira volcano is

really just a natural

phenomenon but one which can

have an effect on the

Nyiragongo too. If the

Nyiragongo volcano which poses

the real threat from the town

of geothermalar. Res in

southern colom y are already

facing a relthreat. The Gelares

recognise is shooting ash meet

intors the sky. Authorities

have issued evacuation orders

but locals have grown used to

such alerts and are refusing to

move. So much so that the

annual black and white carnival

resumed as eruptions continued.

In the Sri Lanka Philippines

the worst appears to be over

after the Mayon volcano that's

been threatening to rerupt for

weeks has calmed down, prompts

authorities to lower the alert level.

TRANSLATION: We're not scared

because god will protect us.

He's the only one who knows if

the volcano will erupt or

not. Residents are settling

back into their homes after

being forced to spend Christmas

and new year in crowded evacuation centres. The

scientists have warned that the

overall state of unrest remains

relative high and have ordered

residents to remain out sad 6

kilometre perment danger zone.

E Get bashed in the head over

and over again then play chess.

It's a bizarre hybrid that

apparently improbably works. In

the report the ABC's European

xornt got a ringside seat at

the newest sport to hit London

where fighters need brains as

well as brawn to win. The stage

is set. In the blue corner is a

Germany, in the red corner this

evening is Englishman Matt

Reid. And in one of the most

unlikely moves in boxing,

they're sitting down at a chess table. It makes chess look cool

which is very good because kids

today, they don't want to do

academic things because they're

afraid it isn't cool. It's

rocky meeting the rooks as they

intersperse moves of chess with

bouts of fisty cuffs. Do you

find that some people look away

during the boxing. Some people

look away and some people

during the chess. Depending on

what your background is. Four

minutes to outsmart your

opponent on the board, three

minutes to knock them out in

the ring. An electronic board

gives the audience a more

interactive experience. To win,

a player either calls check

mate or knocks his opponent out

whichever comes first. After

two rounds of chess, Matt Reid

is looking good until he puts

the gloves back on those and

those crazy arms again seem a

little out of place in a boxing

ring. But just one minute back

on the board and it's victory

for Britain. Tried to be really

friendly to him and I figured

if he really likes me he's not

going hit me so hard and I came

into the room and he sort of

gave me a wink and a nod and a

bit of a wry smile. We just

touched gloves, we hacked

me Unlike a regular boxing

tournament there are a lot of

women in the crowd and even the

odd grand master chess

player. You don't get that many people and the excitement I've

got here. It's real buzz

tonight. It's kiebl of unfair

that he was dominated in the

ring but won on a chess move..

I thought the boxing was good.

Chess, I'm laughing to be

honest with you. So it's

revenge of the nerds, in a game

that's attracted a whole new

crowd to the sport of

boxing. How deeply odd. Those

Londoners do weird things in

winter. You get stuck in sind

for six months at a time and

they just got a bit strange. I

guess so because that is truly

strange. But I guess apart from

having more people watching

boxing it has more people

watching chess Looking away at

times though apparently.

Argentina is home to two of the

world's most famous tourist

desination, the spectacular

falls and the fwlasiers of

Patagonia but it's also home to

association legend Maradona and

of course the tango. And it's

this passionate dance that

visitors flock so to see when

they reach the Capital Bunyip

State Forest. We visit one

institution in the city where

tourists can embrace the local current. MUSIC

Ban ban is a city that tiebs

pride in its - bu. EnosAires is

place of passion, beauty and of

course tango.

And there's one place here

that to me emittmises the

history, the faded grandeur and

the bittersweet life, of the

town. It's called grand cafe

Tor trvtion o, a landmark

restaurant built in the city of

a grandpa rizian cafe. Can the

atmosphere is pure bel le,

eepoc he, e. The manager has

worked here for an astonishing

52 years.

TRANSLATION:

It was modelled on the great

capitals of Europe. With

sweeping boulevard imposing

public buildings and majestic

facades. And cafe Tortoni was

the place to be seen. Not just

for the rich and powerful but

for artists, singers and poets.

Ro weathero's regulars included

the great novelist Borgez.

These days there's still the

occasional famous visitor, a

Clinton or two and the odd

Spanish royal. But like much of

the town, the grand cafe clings

to life as a faded museum.

Today's patrons are more likely

to be tourists than tortured

artists. The ornate nooks and

crannies aren't sketched in

note books but snapped on flash

cards. Nice, nice. With other

tourists we have to close, it

is nice, people coming because

this is important so it's nice

to take them here. The fact is

few locals can afford the

prices here. In 2000, the

Argentina peso collapsed and

it's been hit hard again by the global financial crisis but

people still treasure the

remnants of a grander past even

if they can't afford it. This

woman is one of the few locals

who come here local. They like

to see , to think of themselves

as this, they like people to

see us as being this. But not

many Argentinians visit this

place. Almost all Argentinians

are descended from old world

immigrants once described as

Italians who speak Spanish,

dress French and think they're

British but the residents here

nope as port dwellers have

always seen themselves as a cut

above the rest. More cultured,

more European, or as many of

their rural does yips would

say, Mr Arrogant. There's

something about it and I think

that's what makes some of them

think they're bettersome is

there a tough of that sense of

of superiority in this

cafe? We're so love Lay

cultured and writers come here,

swear smart, yes we R it

definitely, yes. And it

embraces that idea I think. It

represents that. Twice a night

the Tortoni show cases what the

city is best known for - tango. MUSIC

It's the city's

quintessential art form.

Brooding sense yool and

passionate. Developed in its

port brothel...S To entertain

waiting clients. But again it's

a piece of nostalgia that bears

little resemblance to reality.

The audience is foreign tour

groups watching the show about

the cafe Tortoni where a

pretend to be the audience. But

it's a reassuring myth the city

continues to cherish. A

constant in an uncertain

world. I don't knows what going

to happen. We never know N

Argentina you never though.

They are always like folly.

We're always folly so we're

used it to. You always see them

like this.- But in here at least you know nothing

changes? No, here always the

same. Nothing change. It's

another world. Not a bad

assignment there. Taking the

crews around the streets

there. Eric Campbell doing that

tough job. The top stories -

rising floodwaters have forced

emergency services in NSW to

eevacuate around 1 tow people

from Coonamble in the State's

north-west. The SES says the

Castlereagh River is expected

to peak in the next three hours. The United States and

Britain have kros closed their

Yemen bass in response to

threats by al-Qa'ida. The top

attempt terror spokesman for

the White House said he was

concerned that al-Qa'ida was

planning an attack in the

Yemeni capital Sanaa and the

Indian Government has reacted

angrily to the stabbing murder

of a man in Mel. The killing of

n Nitin Garg has generated deep

anger and could affect

bilateral ties. For a look at

the national papers today we're joined by Monash University

lecturer Waleed Aly. Thank you

very much for joining us again.

So you're looking at the

'Australian' first? I am. This

is the world page of the 'Australian' that I'm looking

at specifically and it's all

doe voted to the fallout that continues from the Christmas day failed terrorism plot. It

was a week ago that we were

discussing the emergence of

Yemen. Exactly. It's emerged.

It's all over the back page of

the the 'Australian'. There's

one story here that I think

captures it. You need to read

the whole page. Let's start

though with the story at the

top of the payment about the US

now boosting its

counter-terrorism support for the Yemeni Government. General

David Petraeus has just paid a

visit to Yemen, it's an odd

thing to see embassy being

closed in response to a threat from al-Qa'ida, not from

something to do with the

Government. It's quite an old

fashioned diplomatic gesture

very much applied to the new

world Which is odd. In this

case it's about security as

much as anything but what is

going to be very, very tricky

here is to see how the US is

going to manage this. This is extraordinarily tricky stuff

for it to be doing to side essentially with a Government

that is weak, that is deeply

unpopular amongst its own

population and then throughout

the region, if anyone actually

cares to pay attention, to

Yemen, they're not going to do

so favourably generally. It

really seems to be getting to

the situation now where the US

is just trying to put out fires everywhere and it just seems to

be getting to the stage where

it's not - it's getting out of

hand? At the Rick of being

flippant, this is a game of

Wac-a her mole that the US is

playing. What tends to happen,

because of the way that

terrorism has evolved, it's not

a solid thing. It doesn't exist

in a place, it's not - it's not

a nation state? No and it's not

a discredit number of people

that's clear and unchanging.

It's fluid and it responds to

political events and to all

sorts of thing when you say,

"Here is the problem" and you

whack it, it pops up somewhere

else. We've found Afghanistan

was the issue e then Pakistan

now Yemen is the issue, London

is probably an issue, and this

is the way that this is going

to work. But what are the

options that the US Government

has? This is the really tricky

thing because if you say, "Well

this is too fluid and we'll

have to take a really abstract

sort of approach, hearts and

minds type thing," which is

absolutely essential. No doubt

about that. But if that's all

you do, then one of the moles

you refuse to whack will

eventually bite you It's quite

amazing how it's being written

out in the press that

essentially it's quite openly

stated that they have to back the Government but on the other

hand they can't be seen to back

the Government because that's

going to be seen as deeply

unpopular with the people? This

is the point made in a story

that's at the Bott of the page.

Now you're having people

standing up in Somali saying we

will send people to Yemen

partly as a response to the

US's involvement there but also

as a recognition that this is

kind of the nerve centre of

sort of a new and emerging type

movement. What's really

important to keep in mind and I

don't think this comes through

in the press reports as much as

it should - it's as though

al-Qa'ida is some kind of

multinational enit they that

has all those arms and is

centrally coordinated and it's

strategyising now to move into

Yemen. I don't think it works

that way. I know there's debate

in the terrorism studies

community about this but I just

don't think it works that way.

When you hear voices from Somalia saying we're going to

support you, they're called

al-Qa'ida affiliates or

something, they're nothing like

that, they're just groups that

may happen to have some

sympathy with what al-Qa'ida is

moving to. But that that is a

reasonable name for them. They

basically are al-Qa'ida

affiliates? In the same way

that al-Qa'ida is their

afailate. It's not - there's no

link in a sort of structural

sense and that's an important distinction. Because where

there is you can then start to

figure out who the key

strategists are and deal with

them in that way. Where from

isn't you can't tooel deal with

that. This is a movement

no-one's actually in control

of. That makes it very

difficult and the problem is US Government is facing now and

all its allied Governments is

that it is a creature of the

old political world and it is

dealing with something that is

fundamentally post modern and

how can you try to take on

something that is in a sense

more modern than itself. Is

there any evidence that they

are actually pursuing any other

tactic in Yemen, that

essentially the heards and

mines whether you like to call

it, which as you say could be

the tactic to have most effect

against an amorefies beast? The

whole hearts and minds Stans -

strategy has been focussed on

Afghanistan and Pakistan. As

we've seen Afghanistan

unpopular Government, Pakistan,

unpopular Government. Yemen

unpopular Government. How many

unpopular Governments is the US

prepared to side with and what

is the long lasting damage that

emerges from that. Do you end

up creating bigger problems.

It's not remotely easy, I'm not

suggesting that but this is

recurring problem What's

happening in the 'Age'? This is

a very interesting piece. I was

really fascinated by it. This

is in the 'Age' today to do

with method acting, and

particularly actors who go

through deep psychological

trauma as a result of playing

really troubled cashes. The

classic case that we've been

familiar with the Heath Ledger

playing the joeker in the dark

Knight. I didn't know how

Daniel Day-Lewis was playing

hamlet and go got so into the

role and sew damaged by it that

he ended up see a ghost of his

own father on stage as of

course hamlet does in the

play. In my left foot he

actually spent months actually

using his left foot, learning

to use his left foot? There's

some interesting research now

being done I always assumed

that actors struggled with this

sort of thing, where does this

article take you? Really really

fas natsing. One point that is made by the person doing

research on this is that we've

seen - we now think that when

an act is really vulnerable

that's great acting but this is

a modern thick. He says it's

only in the 20th and 21st

century the audience has been

preoccupied with realist drama.

That is actually a new problem

for acts. The problem is

because method acts, the idea

is that when you enter a role

you actually call on a and I

suspects of your own life to

fulfil that role, it has a

deeper psychological effect

than in you're just employing

other forms of acting tools

because you have to live with

that and then there's the

question about going from

performance to your every day

life and how that actually gets

blurred. I wonder if actors

should have insurance for

mental health They're suggesting they should have on

set counsellors so that as they

do their actoring after the

session they can debrief A

wacky yarn fromma pan? It's

wacky but serious, the Japanese

Government is dealing with the

series problem of population

deline client, seriously ageing

population, local Governments

around the country are

organising match making

sessions where Japanese people

can come together and try to

meet other people and it's very

efficient if a pair agrees

they're compatible they become

couples which is very

Japanese They think the same

everywhere? I'm not sure if it

works quite that efficiently

normally but anyway it's a

serious problem though because

the Japanese economy is facing

trouble and the whole nation

face - has got a real problem

on its hands because the life

expectancy is huge and the reproduction rate just isn't

there. It's a bit of a funny

story but it's a very serious

problem for Japan. Thank you

very much for joining us

again. This disglu you can

watch all of ABC News Breakfast

streamed live earn morning. With Stirling Mortlock

here the Luke wap waters. Thank

you. Leeds United have ended Manchester United's fup hopes

with a 1-nil defeat at Leeds.

Beckford found the back of the

net. The capacity crowd at

Leeds was treated to a thriming

match but not so for Manchester

United manager Sir Alex

Ferguson who was betweened

2,000 pouns and suspended 2004

two matches for criticising the

time keeper. US Open champion

Kim Clijsters is in ominous

form going into this month's

Australian open. Clijsters was

given a warm welcome by the

Brisbane crowd yesterday and

she didn't disappoint, downing her Italian opponent in

straight sets. She'll now take

on Australian Alicia Molik who

notched her first tour victory

in two years. Australia will be

looking for quick wickets on

day two of the Sydney Test

after yesterday's batting

disaster. And Ricky Ponting who

of course won the toss and

elected to bat on the green top

and the top order faltered for

Australia but a combination of poor shots and good bowling

from the Pakistani seamers saw

the Aussies dismissed for 127

and Pakistan resumes today at 0

for 14. We spoke before about

Ricky Ponting's decision to bat

on the green top and here's

what former Aussie fast bowler

Geoff Lawson and a former

Pakistani coach had to say

about the wicket before the

toss. It used to be bat every

time. Today this is a bowling

day. And he should know, he's a

former Sheffield Shield player

for NSW, so interesting.. Thank

you. Vam joins us now for the

weather. Thank you. A tropical

low is estimated to be about

120 kilometres west south-west

of dare win, with within the

next 30 to 408 hours it could

develop into a cyclone. A

severe weather warning has been

issued for damaging winds and

heavy rafrl in the Darwin daily

and Arnhem districts and

rainfalls of up to 105mm so far

recorded in Arnhem. Around the

States -

Still ahead - we'll have more

on on those floods in NSW with

the mayor of Coonamble, Tim Horan and of course we've

spoken to a couple of people

from Coonamble early this

morning and they say that the

peak of about 5.5m is expected

sometime over the next three

hours. Stay with us on ABC News

Breakfast. We'll be back after

this short break.

This program is not subtitled

This Program is Captioned

Live.

More than 1,000 people

evacuated as floodwaters

threaten hopes in north-west

NSW. Britain and the US close

their embassy in Yemen amid

warnings of an al-Qa'ida

attack. The Indian Government

demands action over the standing murder of an Indian man in Melbourne. And Australia scuttled after Ricky Ponting elects to bat on a seaming wicket at the SCG . Good morning. It's Monday 4 January, I'm Joe O'Brien. And I'm Mary Gearin, the top story on ABC News Breakfast - about 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in flood ravaged NSW. Residents from Coonamble in the o'clock, it was between 3 and 6 earlier on but it's now been put back a bit which is a good

thing because if we were going to have issues I'd rather deal with them in the day light. I'm looking at the river at the moment and it's a spectacular sight. Like one of the fastest flowing rifers in the southern hemisphere when it floods and there's plenty of water You're still working on the estimatation as we've heard this morning that the levee is going to reach 5.5m sometime within the next couple of hours That's correct. The peak is expected to be at 5.5. In the past our leave yes has held water up to that height but things change, every flood we get is different. We have water coming from different locations from different sides of the community and the main water is coming from 300 kilometres around blig River. It's taken a way to get here but we're trying to deal with the issue. The main concern is structural.

We have been advised over the

years that there has been some

structural weakness points in

the levee and that's come from

Government planning departments

and our council has been trying

to seek funding to have this

repaired and we've been

unsuccessful to date with the funding so hopefully the

Government will look at this

now and say, "We need to put a

bit of investment into this and stop any problems in the

future." So that's the NSW

State Government is it that's

State Government is it that's

responsible for that? That's

right. We have over the last

few years have had