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National Nine News -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. The abortion bill passes - of his veto. Parliament strips the Health Minister I think the ayes have it. State Cabinet reshuffle - while Michael Costa gets Treasury. Joe Tripodo demoted

Keeping our harbour safe - to combat terrorism. the high-speed boats SHOUTING And the Internet millionaire for Australia. who's won a Winter Games gold


Good evening.

the way for the abortion drug RU486 Federal Parliament has cleared to Australian women. to be made available Health Minister Tony Abbott over the drug has been stripped of his veto power with decisions about its use medical panel. to be made by an expert the private member's bill Women senators who sponsored cracked the champagne voted it into law. after the House of Representatives

joined them. Their lower house sisters GLASSES CLINK

Well done! You too. Well done, Julliard.

against the bill, had argued strongly The Prime Minister

of the abortion drug RU486 which transfers control to the medical experts from Health Minister Tony Abbott Goods Administration. of the Therapeutic in this whole debate There is just a whiff and controversial of "this is a little too difficult so let's give it to somebody else". Opposition Leader Kim Beazley

of the drug argued strongly for approval of a scientific panel. to be put into the hands quite frankly. For me it is a no-brainer, It is simply commonsense have the scientific capacity that a minister does not to arrive at that judgment. versus Labor - But this was not Coalition it was a conscience vote, backed by some Labor MPs, the Howard stand with Liberal ministers Mr Beazley finding himself allied

including Treasurer Peter Costello. Two amendments were defeated. Support for the bill than in the Senate last week - was even stronger at least a 45-vote majority, so overwhelming, for those on his side of the argument that Mr Howard gestured not to bother calling for a count. Cardinal George Pell said Catholic Church head

of Australians believe Parliament needs reminding that 87% there are too many abortions.

but the struggle isn't over. We lost this battle, The pro-life forces will be back. The tide is turning.

Laurie Oakes, National Nine News. at State Parliament More musical chairs reshuffle of his front bench. with the Premier announcing an early The biggest casualty is Joe Tripodi Roads portfolio who's been stripped of the tough while Michael Costa

of becoming Treasurer. has finally fulfilled his ambition Morris Iemma his job, He's the man who helped deliver for failing to deliver but has Joe Tripodi paid the price

on the Cross City Tunnel? The Premier admits drivers are angry, should be doing better. and the Government significant room for improvement. I concede that there is he's as surprised as anyone, The man himself says Energy and Economic Reform but denies his move to Ports,

amounts to a demotion. It's a very important role. It's less profile, admittedly. the job of fixing the tunnel In a meteoric rise, Eric Roozendaal. goes to former ALP secretary is Michael Costa The other major mover who gets the plum role of Treasurer Economic Development. while Mr Iemma takes on to his office. John Della Bosca adds Finance David Campbell - Water Utilities,

to concentrate solely on police. allowing Carl Scully Well, I love the cops. And the feedback I've had today I'm here to stay. is they're delighted of his reshuffled ministry The Premier says the focus the State's flagging economy. will be kick starting and Transport, After heading up Police his biggest job yet, Michael Costa faces perhaps but it's a job he's always wanted. that I like problems I don't think it's any secret

I like economic problems. and, secondly,

for this Government There's been no shortage of problems

to move a few people around, and they're now trying before the next election. The last move to the election. Thanks. This is the team we're taking

Brad Schmitt, National Nine News. in the State Government's court The ball is now in the stand-off over the pokies tax. today met with the Gaming Minister The head of Clubs NSW

and Premier Morris Iemma, offering an extra $1 billion in tax - the Government wants. $300 million short of what that he will consider this offer. The Premier has guaranteed

by next week The Government is expected to decide whether it will accept the offer. have begun patrolling Sydney Harbour A fleet of specially designed boats

terrorist attacks. to protect against possible exclusive access today National Nine News was given their paces. as the vessels were put through the latest weapon against terrorism Built for speed and stealth, the Harbour Bridge - emerges from beneath it will be helping to protect. one of the many potential targets one of eight brand-new police boats The tactical boarding craft is as part of a $27 million upgrade. unveiled by the Police Minister today

out on the harbour

of terrorism making sure that the threats are kept to an absolute minimum. of six police This craft allows a team trained in counter-terrorism of pulling up to make arrest within seconds alongside suspicious boats. include a diving boat The other new vessels the latest sonar equipment, fitted with

and four fast-response boats. two harbour patrol boats, We've got icons right on the harbour to terrorist organisations, that might be of interest that our waterways, so we're very, very conscious our Sydney Harbour, for added police protection. has to be a forum can now boast to the biggest, fastest NSW marine command and more durable fleet in Australasia, and the unique needs of Sydney Harbour

and all of the State's coastline have been factored into the design of every vessel. This particular fleet of vessel is purpose-built to our specifications, with the most modern navigational age and surveillance equipment that we can obtain. Another 18 vessels will be commissioned in the next two years. Adam Walters, National Nine News. John Laws is in trouble again, dragged before the Equal Opportunity Tribunal

to explain comments he made on radio about a homosexual TV host. Laws insists his remarks were meant to be light-hearted, but it still may cost him. John Laws makes his living out of his giving his opinion, but he wasn't saying much today. We can't talk about it, really, but you know how it goes. The broadcaster is before the Equal Opportunity Tribunal

over comments he made about gay television star Carson Kressley

following the 2004 Melbourne Cup. ARCHIVE MATERIAL: Who is this pompous little pansy prig who is strutting around everywhere? Kressley was invited to host 'Fashions on the Field' and Laws didn't think he was the man for the job. Now, what the hell does a pillow-biter know about judging girls?

They should have had a few truckies down there. Or me. Laws did apologise for his comments. However, that didn't satisfy Sydney gay rights activist Gary Burns, so he's claiming $25,000 in damages. I don't care if you're John Laws, John Howard, anybody out there that uses ridicule or incites hatred against minority groups - I will take you on. Laws today told the tribunal he has plenty of mates who are gay, and he doesn't have a problem with them,

insisting he intended his comments to be tongue-in-cheek. It's probably the most ridiculous reaction I've known in 50 years of broadcasting. Allison Langdon, National Nine News. There's been another sad case of an elderly person dying in their home and no-one noticing for months. This time it was on the Central Coast where the remains of a 78-year-old woman were found,

possibly six months after she passed away. She's a very quiet lady

and she minds her business and she doesn't talk very much. her mail last August. She hadn't been seen since picking up her mail last Adgust. These postal workers checked on her this week following news of a similar death at a Surry Hills apartment block. The biggest ever catch in the crackdown on illegal fishing boats

was paraded in Darwin today. Named 'Chen Long', it's a 75m Chinese ship which the Navy and the Fisheries Authority intercepted off the Northern Territory. On board, 640 tonnes of reef fish. Although none of the 18 crew members have so far been charged, the Fisheries Authority suspect it was a mother ship for smaller illegal boats in our waters. He's certainly not a household name, and you're probably not familiar with his sport, the moguls, but Canadian-born Dale Begg-Smith

has won Australia's first medal at the Winter Olympics and it's gold. The 21-year-old millionaire moved to Australia as a teenager

after falling out with the Canadian Sports Institute. When Begg-Smith raised his arms in triumph, Aussie celebrations kicked into overdrive. CHEERING That's gold! That's what it was! As for the man himself... I mean, I wasn't nervous at all or anything - I was just concentrating on what I had to do.

At the top of the mountain, Begg-Smith took aim at gold, then triggered a bullseye run he needed to claim it.

COMMENTATOR: Right up, he's under way! and last down the mountain, Being the top qualifier

Begg-Smith knew the score he had to beat. Moguls is not just about speed - you're also judged on technique and execution.

Fast, explosive turns. Knees were never designed for this a mag cal Olympic moment. but what price - a magical Olympic moment.

Australia, stand up out of your chairs. Begg-Smith, emotionless, stood waiting for the right numbers to come up, and when they did he remained, well, totally laid back. This has been a dream since I was eight, but I didn't actually think it would come true. Gold for Australia via Canada. Six years ago Begg-Smith quit his country of birth, spent two years out of competition to qualify to represent his new country.

During the self-imposed exile, he set up an Internet business that turned into gold - Begg-Smith became a millionaire. This was a night to get excited. REPORTER: Big party tonight? I'm not sure. Maybe. Finishing 12th had team-mate Nicholas Fisher more pumped. Begg-Smith reacted like a man who had just won a game of poker,

and right to the end, he gave nothing away. Ken Sutcliffe, National Nine News. In the news ahead - a police raid forces the closure of a busy Sydney road. And Dick Cheney finally speaks about accidentally shooting his friend.

We've got a brand-new warehouse located on Belconnen Way. We've closed the old store down and we've moved to bigger premises. Huge. Huge nursery, huge landscape area. We've got wider aisles and we've got a larger range. We've got DIY clinics.

We offer more products and more choices. And parking spaces for everybody. SONG: # Bunnings Warehouse. # Lowest prices are just the beginning.

The extraordinary life of Kerry Packer will be celebrated tomorrow when more 1,000 people pack the Concert Hall of the Opera House

for his state memorial service. A number of international celebrities have begun arriving for the event, including Tom Cruise who flew in to Mascot Airport today on a private jet as preparations for the service were fine-tuned. MUSIC PLAYS The Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and the Premier

are among the invited guests. Along with James Packer, Russell Crowe and Richie Benaud will speak at the service which will be broadcast on the Nine Network from 12:30. A major Sydney road was closed to traffic this morning as police carried out a dramatic raid on a house at Punchbowl in the city's south-west. With their targets possibly linked to gun crimes, police were tacking no chances -

officers from the State Protection Group providing the back-up, as detectives investigating gang warfare in the south-western suburbs moved in at 7:00 this morning, raiding a house in Punchbowl. Two males, aged 17 and 23, were taken away. With the house situated at such a busy intersection, and heavily armed police everywhere, senior officers took the extraordinary step and closed Canterbury Road in the middle of peak hour

to ensure the public's safety. They just shut the street off and I came out and they just said there was an operation going on and that was it. For an hour, traffic was diverted as police searched the home and cars parked in the backyard. They seized a firearm and ammunition. Police say the raid stemmed from inquiries into a series of shootings in four different suburbs

on the night of September 11 last year. A 25-year-old man was wounded at Campsie. Later, the victim's mother's home was singled out in a drive-by shooting in Panania. in Croydon and Punchbowl. A local school was also targeted. The two people arrested today have been charged with several firearm offences. Damian Ryan, National Nine News.

One of the most notorious episodes of the Iraq invasion has been revived, with new photographs emerging of the torture and abuse committed at the Abu Ghraib prison. The pictures, broadcast on SBS television, were all taken during the same period as the photos which exposed the scandalous conduct of American military warders. The appearance of the material comes with disastrous timing,

Public pressure has forced the American Vice-President into speaking about that embarrassing shooting accident in which he almost killed one of his friends. Dick Cheney shot millionaire lawyer Harry Whittington while quail hunting on Saturday and says it was one of the worst days of his life. You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend. Mr Whittington is expected to stay in hospital for at least another week.

Now, more on the Australian woman we told you about earlier this week

who was arrested after trying to stop another woman talking loudly on a mobile phone in a cinema in Texas. Pauline Clayton has now been fined $176, her sin was to tap the noisy moviegoer on the shoulder

during a screening of 'Brokeback Mountain.' The woman went ballistic stormed The woman went ballistic, stormed out to find a police officer and had Ms Clayton arrested for assault. Some fascinating medical news now.

A special computer program used by customs officers to identify the facial expressions of drug smugglers has been adapted to help sufferers of schizophrenia. 1 in a 100 Australians develop schizophrenia, a brain disorder a brain d so?der affecting thoughts and emotion. Scientists have also discovered they don't process facial expressions correctly. Many see a smile as hostile.

That can be very anxiety-provoking and despair-inducing. 85% of schizophrenia sufferers, such as Waseen Kahn, can't work or even visit the shops. I think people are angry and things like that and maybe I did something wrong and I wasn't sure, so that's when I got very confused. Now, for the first time, they're learning to retrain their brain to scan faces properly to differentiate emotions.

The program, led by by Macquarie University and NISAD schizophrenia researchers, is an ingenious adaptation of software used by police and customs to identify expressions of suspicious people. How do you know it's surprise? What are you looking at? It's the eyes, eyebrows and lips.

Yesterday I went to the post office and tried to recognise the facial expressions, and it really helped me, so I think the program is really going to help people with schizophrenia.

The study still needs more volunteers to confirm these early results, but doctors believe the simple treatment, which will eventually be used just at home, will dramatically improve the lives of schizophrenia sufferers worldwide. People will be more able to participate in the community, in jobs and lead more productive and fulfilling lives. Sheryl Taylor, National Nine News. Ken with sport next,

and a major new player enters the battle to buy Souths? Traditionalists are drumming up corporate support. Also, getting well and truly iced Also, getting ell and truly iced in the double luge. And Maria Sharapova a 'Sports Illustrated' pin-up.

Quite often, you'll find a lot of customers come in and say, Mini roses, only $4.98 each. 12-litre Wattyl ID paint, $135.

"Your prices have been the best." SONG: # Bunnings Warehouse. #

Yet another twist today in the battle of South Sydney - the Rabbitohs have received an approach from a multinational company willing to counter the bid

from Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court.

Former Souths juniors chairman Henry Morris

is determined to get the best price for his beloved Rabbitohs.

I'm doing this only to get satisfaction in my own mind that what I'm doing is correct, that $3 million is undervalued. I'd like to see what really is out there in the marketplace. But Morris wouldn't reveal the identity of the company. They're very big. They're very big, I can say that much. Holmes a Court said today that $3 million was the right price given the nature of the bid.

We're not buying the important heritage elements of this club. For the first time ever, those rights are going to members. We're buying the right to be involved in the management of this club. And he receives strong support from those who count. The members need to make a decision. Do we accept what's happening now and continue to accept it, or do we try the brave new world and go into the future? And there was strong speculation today that Russell Crowe wants Tim Sheens to be the Souths coach

if his bid for the club is successful. Sheens and Crowe are believed to have held a meeting, but this has been denied by Souths. Souths are throwing their weight behind Shawn McRae, while the Tigers are confident that Sheens will re-sign with their club soon. That's why we extended his contract by a year - we think he's the right man for the job. And in other league news, Raiders coach Matthew Elliott has knocked back the Knights' coaching offer. Danny Weidler, National Nine News.

It's now less than a month until the Commonwealth Games begin in Melbourne. The excitement began to hit home for those south of the Murray River today, as the Queen's Baton finally arrived in Victoria.

The sun-soaked wheatfields near Renmark, South Australia, are a long way from London, where this journey began.

As schoolteacher John Picks hitched a ride on a Murray River houseboat. The Queen's Baton, which has travelled through 70 countries,

crossed its final border into Victoria.

In 39-degree heat, 64-year-old grandmother Annette Matthewson began the final stages of the relay in the Games's home State.

I ran for them. I ran for all my family.

The baton will stop overnight in the town of Mildura.

There's only 27 days to go before the Games begin in Melbourne. Meantime, members of Australia's biggest Commonwealth Games track-and-field team have got together for the first time. 123 athletes will represent their country in all but one event on the program. Feuding rivals Jana Pittman and Tamsyn Lewis avoided each other, both runners ordered by officials not to speak to the media. At the Winter Olympics, Torino's luge course continues to claim casualties.

In the up-close-and-personal double luge, crashes a plenty for the Russian, Ukrainian and American cr w , Ukrainian and American crews, but all avoided major injuries. Andrew McKinlay, National Nine News.

Tennis princess Maria Sharapova has turned beach babe, to pose for this year's swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated. The 19-year-old Russian enjoyed her photo shoot but says she won't follow Anna Kournikova into modelling.

It's an honour to be in a magazine

of such prestige and I'm honoured

to be in it. But I don't think

you'll see me doing photo shoots in bathing at ing bathing suits very often in bathing suits very often in my career. The former Wimbledon champ

starred at the launch of the magazine, which carries a group cover shot featuring supermodels Rachael Hunter and Elle Macpherson.

... neither of whom have won

Wimbledon. Lleyton Hewitt has won a first-round match in the United

States four days after the Davis Cup. After the break, finance, Jaynie with the weather, then who says your winter wardrobe has to be dreary?

Time's running out to enter Lotto's massive $19 million Saturday Superdraw. It's on this Saturday. So for your chance to lock up your share of $19 million, hurry and get your entry in now. SONG: # Makes dreams come true. #

Hon, what's your ultimate fantasy?

With the extra grunt of an Aussie-built Alloytec V6, and good enough for the weekends too. Yeah. VOICEOVER: Australia's powerful new V6 Holden Rodeo. It's what blokes want.

In finance, Qantas has seen its profit trimmed by rising fuel costs - its result for the half down 10% to $353 million.

Wild storms have ripped through Sydney. Severe storm warnings are out for eastern NSW but have now been dropped for Sydney and Gosford. The storms have been fairly slow moving Penrith had 17mm in 2 hours. Massive storms recorded right near Cambden and around Wisemans Ferry.

Most suburbs picked up about 3-5mm, including catchment areas. Here is the culprit! Thick cloud associated with a trough. Now, we can expect moderate to heavy falls over the ranges, which may land over Sydney overnight. Storms will become more isolated throughout Friday in the east,

the western inland staying dry with hot north-westerly winds. Storms have been forecast for the weekend not as intense as tonight's - in fact, only a small chance we'll see them.

Thanks, Jaynie, and speaking of weather,

the folks at David Jones have been showing off their Winter Collection, hoping shoppers will soon be restocking their wardrobes. It must be said that for a winter collection there wasn't much rugging up in last night's show, maybe because Megan Gale always keeps the temperature rising. And while it's clear black is back,

And while it's clear black is back, thankfully colour never really ever goes out of fashion. That's National Nine News for this Thursday.

I'm Mark Ferguson. Goodnight. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre