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Live. This morning - up to nine

elderly people die after a fire engulfs a nursing home in

Sydney. A tragic scene, a lot

of people injured, and we of people injured, and we know that there have been that there have been some

fatalities. There may fatalities. There may be

more. A defiant Kevin Rudd says

Australia won't be deterred by China from an increased US

military presence in military presence in the region. Victorian nurses ignore a Fair Work Australia

order to end their industrial

action. And debutante path action. And debutante path

Cummins strikes in the Second

Test against South Africa.

Brilliant stuff from Cummins.

That's a moment he's going to remember for remember for a long, long time. Good morning. You're watching ABC News 24.

Andrew Geoghegan. Thanks for

joining us. A quick look at the weather first around the

capitals:

Share markets are a sea of

red after another rise in the

cost of borrowing for Governments. The local market has opened about half a percent

lower. We'll bring you lower. We'll bring you those

figures a bit later in the

program. Police have begun the

grim task of determining how many people have died fire at a Sydney nursing home.

Officers say up to nine people have died in the blaze at

Quakers Hill, in Sydney's west.

Another 20 residents have Another 20 residents have been

taken to hospitals, most with smoke inhalation, some suffering serious burns the blaze suffering serious burns the blaze started early this

morning and emergency crews arrived

arrived within minutes. arrived within minutes. They evacuated 100 people, extinguished forensics are starting to

investigate what triggered the blaze. Crews

blaze. Crews have described it as a firefighters' as a firefighters' worst

nightmare. We have had tragedy here this morning and our hearts and thoughts our hearts and thoughts and

prayers go out to the families

of those that have been killed

and injured this morning. We

have large numbers of police present now, both general

duties police who are securing

the scene and undertaking that the scene and undertaking that

work that needs to be done. work that needs to be done. We have detectives from the

honestly side squad and the

of that because NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione is

about to provide an update. of ... confirmed people killed in

this fire. I make clear that

number may change for a number may change for a variety

of reasons, but Fire Brigade and police scientific officers

are continuing in the scene and

in the site and obviously we

have people injured in

hospital. So that figure may

change, but I wish to confirm

we have three deceased people

in this fire.

west Hall has been put into operation by the NSW Police

Force. That is a strike force

which will be led by the

homicide unit. This is a complex

will be a matter for the

coroner and the coroner is

currently on the way. On that

basis, and on the basis that,

as I said before, we treat all of these incidents as

suspicious until we can confirm otherwise, it is appropriate

that the homicide squad lead

this operation under that

strike force and that will continue. How many people

are in a critical condition at assessing people in hospital and the ambulance service may

be able to assist you further than that. But obviously these are elderly people and with the

fire, with the smoke fire, with the smoke that was

there, we are concerned about a number

number of people, that figure

may change. Are you able to

confirm ages or sexes of the

deceased? We're deceased? We're still continuing to work with that.

You'll understand there's a

process that needs to be fold to

to confirm the identity of

these people. I'm very

cognisant there are families

concerned about their loved

ones in this situation. ones in this situation. I'm

not going to speculate on about the identity of those

people. Are you able to say how

the three have been confirmed

dead, is it a matter of

records? We have seen those

three people and we are

treating them with the dignity

that they deserve. Do you believe it's smoke inhalation

rather than burns? It is far too

too early to speculate on the

cause of death, but in these

sorts of situations it's

self-evident that you will have

the risk of people being burnt

and smoke inhalation is and smoke inhalation is a

significant risk. You've spoken

about three confirmed deaths.

Are you able to say how many

people are

the best of my knowledge, we

have identified all of the

people that were in the premises at the time. Are you

also able to talk a bit more about where some of survivors have been taken? One

about

of the families on the other side - I think side - I think that it was

earlier indicated they've gone

to nine hospitals in the

general area and we still have

some people at the church some people at the church just

up the road. The ambulance service have done a fantastic

job in both transporting people

at the scene as to their needs

and they are in those places. 1800 227 228 1800 227 228 is the number to

ring for all families with concerns concerns about loved ones, information concerns about loved ones, and information is being fed constantly constantly from the scene to

that number so that we have that number so that we have the best possible information

available to the families

through that call centre number. How are you going

notifying family? In terms of

the deceased? In terms of everybody.

everybody. As I say, there is

a 1800 number set up. process of getting in touch

with people, off whius ly we

want to put people back in

touch with their loved ones early touch with their loved ones as early as we can. Can you tell

us what is going on inside the nursing home at the moment in

terms of forensic work and what scientific officers are doing?

We have saved lives today by the outstanding work of

emergency services. The

process that goes on in a matter such as this is that the

Fire Brigade, who did an outstanding job in outstanding job in terms of

responding to the fire, are now

making that site safe. We're

working with their and with our forensic services

group in terms of now the

investigation of the scene,

once it's made safe and handed over

over by the Fire Brigade, and

it will be a painstaking

staff to get all the forensic

evidence we can in relation evidence we can in relation to that operation. There are detectives

detectives from the homicide

squad, arson squad and local detectives

detectives who will start the

process of interviewing witnesses to the matter. Mike

Willis, NSW ambulance. commissioner is Mike Willis, acting commissioner for the ambulance

service of NSW. I can confirm now that of all of the

residents here at the nursing home, we've transported home, we've transported 18

patients - it's important to distinguish between residents

and patients. Of those 18

patients, they've gone to nine

metropolitan hospitals and I

can indicate that eight of those patients are serious and

are receiving the best care

that they can at places like

as far afield as Liverpool. We also transported 44 patients to also transported 44 patients to the Lote Stewart private

facility. That is facility. That is just for

residential care. A total of

79 patients are receiving residential care across the

metropolitan hospitals and Lote

Stewart. At this stage, in

regards to patients, all

patients have now been transported

transported from the scene. The

The last 17 patients have been

relocated to a nursing home in Blacktown, not far from this location. An location. An outstanding job

by all of emergency services,

but I'd like to of course pass

on my particular praise and thanks to thanks to the paramedics and

the health staff, nurses and doctors, that are now doctors, that are now starting

the ongoing care of these

patients, a fantastic job by

all. Sorry, just to clarify,

the 17 at the triage the 17 at the triage centre

have now been moved to a Blacktown nursing home? That's Blacktown nursing home? That's correct, the last 17 correct, the last 17 patients remaining here are just in the transported to a nursing home

in Blacktown. Are you able to

give us a sense in terms of logistics how far your ambulance people came from?

Some were quite a long way

away? Once the ambulance

received the call, like the other emergency services, we

certainly responded to

stations, being Blacktown, Mount Druitt and Parramatta

stations, I believe. Second

alarm for us, we then alarm for us, we then brought

in crews from metropolitan area to support

this operation here and of

course to then support our

normal operations that have to

carry on even though we're out here at this tragedy. I can confirm we've had confirm we've had 100

paramedics on the site.

They've come from They've come from local stations and stations stations and stations far afield right across the metropolitan area. Mr Greg

Mullins, Commissioner, fire and

rescue NSW. The fire is now residents have been removed and

taken to care facilities.

We're now moving into the

investigation phase. This has

been complicated by the fact been complicated by the fact

that the roof of the building has been severely impacted

has been severely impacted by

fire. Firefighters while they were carrying out rescues had

tiles falling on their heads,

so it's too unstable for investigators

investigators to get into the

room that was most badly

affected. We have firefighter specialists at the specialists at the moment making that safe and then foreign rescue investigators

will move in and complete the will move in and complete the

investigation process. Are you

confident there's no-one still

inside? We know that nobody

remains within the building. All residents and all staff have have been accounted have been accounted for. What

about your team, were there about your team, were there any

injuries for the team that went

in There were no injuries by

the firefighters, but I spoke

to a lot of the crews early this morning, of course they were

were quite distressed. They're

tough men and women, they do

this sort of stuff day in, day out, but when I say of stuff", confronting a nursing home full of elderly

people, frail with a fire that

they can't escape from, that's

every firefighter's worst

nightmare. In terms of the structural issues, Greg, what's

the priority now, what do you

do? The fire very severely

damaged one room. It went up

into the roof space, the roof timbers have

timbers have burnt through.

The tiles have fallen

They were falling on the firefighters as they were rescuing people. So the investigators need to be removed, so you'll

see soon one of our ladder

units working on the roof to

remove the tiles. If there's

any shoring up needed, our structural specialist will

shore up walls and roof and

then the investigators will

move in. Thank you. move in. Thank you. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. So

those are the latest details

from Quakers Hill, where we've

had the tragedy of a nursing

home fire. Just to home fire. Just to reiterate some of it is confirmed that three

elderly people have died in

that fire. The homicide squad

is leading the investigation

currently. They're saying it's

too early to speculate on the cause of death or the cause of

the fire indeed, and all

residents and staff have now

been accounted for. Emergency

services has set up a phone

hotline for concerned family

members and friends. You can

call: if you're trying to

track down residents

the home - just repeating that,

18 affected residents have been taken to nine different hospitals taken to nine different

hospitals and the remaining

residents have been relocated to other local nursing homes. So you can call: That's for That's for specific

information on family members

or friends that you're trying to

to track down. To other news now, the Foreign Minister,

Kevin Rudd, says Australia will

not back away from closer

military ties with the United States. The decision to allow

US troops, ships and aircrafts

to use Australian bases has

ruffled feathers in Beijing.

In fact, we need to break

there, because we are going to

go back to Quakers Hill for the

moment. Let's listen. ... how

how sad I feel for our

residents and their families on

this dreadful day. As you can

understand, we've spent our

time ensuring that we time ensuring that we attended

to our residents to get the

best of care and the proper accommodation

to support our staff in what is

a very difficult morning

indeed. I'd just like to pause

at that point to thank the

emergency services personnel.

They did an outstanding job They did an outstanding job to

get our residents out and if not for not for them, it could have

been much worse. To them, I thank them very much. I've

been up the hill behind me this

morning to meet with the families to express my and our condolences, and to express to

them how much we want to them how much we want to

support them in the coming days and weeks ahead. How are

and weeks ahead. How are the

families coping? As you can understand, it's a difficult

time for them and I want to

shortly go back up there and spend spend more time spend more time with them. Gary, are there any structural issues with the

building that you know of or

can talk to us about? No, no. How many staff did you have on last night? Those

operational details I'd rather

leave to others. I want to

concentrate on the residents

now and the families. What are the residents doing now? We've moved residents to the

community centre up the hill

and from there we've been identifying alternative

accommodation for them. I

should say that the aged care industry has been very supportive this morning and

I've had a number of calls I've had a number of calls from organisations offering

assistance, so I look forward

to everybody properly accommodated. Those residents

who are okay, not in who are okay, not in hospital

in a critical condition, how

are they holding up. Was it

bewildering for them this morning?

explained the experience to you?

you? I can't imagine what it

was like for them. I was like for them. I was focused on ensuring that they

were okay. Have they told you what it was like this morning, though? They seemed though? They seemed to me to

be in as good a spirits as could be under could be under the circumstances. But, again, I

was just making sure that they

got the proper attention. What

about your staff, how are faring? Our staff are holding

up magnificently. Our staff do

a great job. They did a a great job. They did a great job again this morning. But one of the things we're ensuring we do ensuring we do is get them the

right level of support so we

have the chaplains assisting us

from the fire service, and so forth, but we'll also be

looking to give them additional

assistance. That's going to be pretty important. I imagine

that your staff have been

trying to deal with this kind

of thing, you'd have a of thing, you'd have a fire

plan, can you tell us about

that? Again, I can't go through

they are trained. I'm thankful

that we got the people out this morning and we've been able to move forward as well as we have

been. How shaken up are the staff,

staff, Gary? I think, as you could understand, they're

affected as everyone is. We've got to make sure we support

them in the coming days. Can

you describe, Gary, how your staff helped police staff helped police and firefighters this morning to

get the residents out? I get the residents out? I got here here a little after the immediate evacuation, but I immediate evacuation, but I saw

staff working really well with all the emergency services all the emergency services to make sure that everyone properly make sure that everyone was properly looked after. I'm going

going to have to leave it

there. Thanks a lot. That was the managing director of the

nursing home, where three

people have been confirmed to

have died in a fire this

morning. That was Gary Banyer

from the nursing home. repeating, emergency services

have set up a phone hotline for

concerned family members and

friends. That number is 1800 227 228, if you're trying to

track down residents at the home. home. Just repeating that news

that 18 affected residents have been taken to nine different hospitals and the remaining residents

residents have been relocated

to other local nursing homes. Just moving on to some

news just in, as you can see on

the screen there, an Adelaide

court has found Senator Mary Jo

Fisher guilty of assault, but not guilty of shoplifting. She

was accused of stealing more

than $92 worth of groceries

from an Adelaide supermarket in

December last year. During the

trial, Fisher said she'd been diagnosed with chronic

depression and was depression and was feeling anxious

anxious and out of control on

the day of the alleged offence.

A guilty conviction could A guilty conviction could cost the senator her political career. The Foreign Minister, Kevin

Kevin Rudd, says Australia will

not back away from closer military ties with the united

State. The decision to allow

US troops' ships and aircraft to to use Australian bases has

ruch led feathers in Beijing.

Barack Obama has now arrived in Bali

Bali for the East Asia Summit, where he'll meet Chinese

Premier Wen Jiabao and

Asian leaders. President Obama

is expected to be asked to explain the reasons behind the military agreement with

Australia. According to Kevin

Rudd, it's a sovereign matter

for Australia. I think it's fair

fair to say that what you see

in the public media from the Chinese foreign ministry and their spokesmen is they reservations their spokesmen is they have reservations about what we have

done. The Australian Government, however, be changing its position. Our

national security or enteration

is a matter of Australian

National sovereignty and we

believe in a strong Australia.

We are not going to have national security policy dictated by any other dictated by any other external power. That's a sovereign matter

matter for Australia. We don't

seek to dictate to the Chinese

what their national security

policies should be. this must be advanced on the

basis of mutual

respect. Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. Victorian nurses have defied an defied an order by Fair Work

Australia to Australia to end their industrial action. industrial action. Hundreds of public public hospital beds

remain closed. Fair Work

Australia has ordered nurses to

lift their ban for 90 days.

They're heading back to the industrial order this morning

to try to have the order upheld. Italy's Prime Minister,

Mario Monti, has outlined his

plans to tackle the country's debt

debt problems. They include

overhauling the pension system

and a crackdown on tax evasion.

The prospect of tough The prospect of tough reforms and Mr Monti's decision to and Mr Monti's decision to fill his cabinet with unelected experts

experts has been met with

protests across the country. Students

several cities over the proposed budget cuts. Italy's

worsening debt crisis forced the resignation last the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Berlusconi. Mario Monti says all Italians must be prepared to make to make sacrifices to balance the country's budget. Dozens of protesters have been arrested

in New York, where hundreds of people protesting people protesting against corporate greed have clashed

with police. But by now their

rallying cry has spread to

capital cities across the United States, including Washington, where a short time ago our North America correspondent, Lisa Millar,

filed this report. There are several hundred marchers in Washington joining this in Washington joining this day

of action across the States.

They've been camping They've been camping down on Case Street for the last couple

of months, the home of

lobbyists here in Washington

DC. They're heading to Georgetown to a bridge. They

say they're not going to say they're not going to block the bridge, but they are going

to remain there for a couple of

hours. Their arguments today have

have been about education

reform and infrastructure

needs. But this is a needs. But this is a critical point for the marchers, for point for the marchers, for the

protesters, because they've

York and elsewhere and the questions are being raised

about what is their focus going

forward, whether they can

sustain the momentum going into winter. The winter. The US Government

today is greater than 1%, today is greater than 1%, haves

and have nots, the majority of

people out here are in a desperate situation. It's a

matter of life and death.

matter of life and death.

Today's protest is actually

against the crumbling infrastructure in this country. get from Washington DC to New

York by train as it did in

1970. That's just one example.

Meanwhile, Europe, Japan, they

have 300 mile an hour high-speed rails. We're

falling behind in other areas too. In too. In education we're

dropping scone stantly every

year. Our health care system

is dropping constantly every

year. We're taking our year. We're taking our country

back enough. We spend more on

our military than every other

country in the world combined,

yet we're falling yet we're falling behind in

almost every other aspect of modern

modern society. We've had

enough. These protesters in

Washington will be heading back

to their camp where they've been staying overnight. It's

one of the ones that hasn't

been shut down and the DC

Council has shown no indication that

that it will shut it down.

It's about a block from the White

White House. They are going to

have to think hard about where they go to now to get their

message across. That's Lisa Millar in Washington. Let's bring

bring you a live shot now from

the protests in New York. the protests in New York.

About 175 people have so far

been arrested in clashes with

riot police as

near the Stock Exchange on Wall

Street. They did attempt to move to Brooklyn move to Brooklyn Bridge. Activists also tried to occupy

New York subways during the

rush hour. In lower Manhattan protesters began converging, as

I said, on the Brooklyn Bridge,

with about 1,000 protesters there in Union Square. As we

mentioned earlier, rallies mentioned earlier, rallies are

taking place across the country now. It's two months since the start of this

York on Wall Street. Meanwhile,

Occupy protesters in London Occupy protesters in London are

also resisting calls to move

on. A deadline for them on. A deadline for them to

move on lapsed overnight. The

corporation of London says corporation of London says it's considering legal action which

could see the group forcibly

evicted. As soon as the legal

notices were posted, they were ripped down, a clear statement

of intent by the activists, who

say their anti-capitalist

protest is here to stay. Certainly in the kitchen

nothing has changed. The

keep coming and no-one is

packing up. It looks like packing up. It looks like the kitchen is here kitchen is here to stay, you're

not packing off Of course.

We're not packing up, no.

We're not going anywhere.

We're here to stay. Welcome to the state of democratic republic of kitchen. And here

they are. Most of the they are. Most of the is

publicly owned, the city of London corporation's legal

notice says all tents must notice says all tents must be removed. Some are on the

pavement and it's not clear

whether they are subject to the legal proceedings. A handful

of protesters are camped on church-owned land in front of

St Paul's, which is ruled St Paul's, which is ruled out

taking any eviction action. That's led to speculation that some protesters could move on

to church property. to church property. The

corporation of London says that

demonstrators have made their

point and should go. raised issues

which we're very happy to which we're very happy to look, but doing so with a

permanent-looking camp site is

not the place and it's not not the place and it's not the time

time and it's not the time and it's not the way to do

it. The church itself is in a potentially uncomfortable

position. It said it will not

sign up to any eviction, but if

the main bulk of protesters do

move on to the church land,

then effectively close down St

Paul's as we approach

Christmas, they'll come under

severe pressure. The atmosphere here atmosphere here is chilled out.

In any case, if they evict us,

it won't change anything. We'll

We'll grow bigger

We'll grow bigger and bigger. I know that. I'm sure. You really

really believe in this, really believe in this, don't

you, you believe in what you're doing here? Yes, 100%. There is no immediate prospect of forced evictions. That would

take a legal process that would

probably take months and could

cost millions of cost millions of pounds. Let's

check sport now. Bainbridge joins us. Amy,

let's start with cricket. It wasn't looking too good at the beginning for Australia, but

they fought back quite well in

South Africa on the first day of the second Test. Yes,

you're right. It was looking a

little bit dicey for little bit dicey for the Australians initially, but in

the end South Africa lost their

last wickets for just 26 runs.

So it was a very good

performance by the end of the

Test for the Australians. They

lost the last six wickets,

rather, for 25 runs. Australia's 18-year-old test

debutante Patrick Cummins took

his first wicket in international test cricket, a international test cricket, a

great result for him. He also

took a catch. He's been took a catch. He's been pretty handy. The other

well. Siddle took 3/69.

Clarke took two wickets and

also Lyon as well. Ryan Harris

is out. The other bad news

from day one is Shane from day one is Shane Watson

has strained a hamstring. Half

centuries to a couple of South

African s. They were all out for 266 runs.

for 266 runs. Now it's up to the

a pretty good first day at the

second test in

Johannesburg. Let's move on to

golf and the President's Cup.

How is it looking for both the

internationals and the Americans? Pretty windy out

there today. I can show you

pictures from this morning's play.

play. It got under way play. It got under way just

after 9.30 this morning. The

first four-ball match was

between Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, taking

Simpson, taking on Ernie Eels

and Ryo Ishikawa. Tiger Woods and

and Dustin Johnston are

up today against Jason Day and

Aaron Baddeley. They've been popular. It's crowds out there today, at least there are clear skies, no

rain around at the moment, at least, although it's expected

over the next couple of days.

Six points of the President's Cup tournament will be decided today. Currently the US team

is leading four points to is leading four points to two

after yesterday's round of foursomes. So still foursomes. So still today, tomorrow and Sunday left to

play, Andrew. Amy, soccer, and

the FIFA boss, Sepp Blatter,

has put his foot in it again?

Yet again. It's quite serious interview with Al Jazeera

television. Basically Sepp Blatter said, "Look, the only

racism that happens in football

is if a fan is yelling from is if a fan is yelling from the

side of the pitch. If

among players and they make a

racist comment and if there's

an investigation into it, the

players would just shake hands and and get over it at the end of

the day." This has caused,

not surprisingly, some uproar

in reaction to that. The head of the Professional Footballers

Association, Gordon Taylor,

says Mr Blatter should step down.

down. That call has been

echoed by Britain's Sports Minister,

also very unimpressed with that

latest round of comments. latest round of comments. Sepp

Blatter for his part says his comments were misinterpreted,

although, Andrew, I've seen

obviously that interview and it's hard to see what was Anyway, actually misinterpreted. Anyway, that's what he says.

It's landed him in hot water

yet again. Amy, thanks very

much. Han Hahn is now here much. Han Hahn is now here to take a look at the

Vanessa, take a look at the weather. Vanessa, we have fire warnings

in SA at the moment? We have this this morning, Andrew. We have an extreme and also severe

warning. The reason is because

we have a trough moving through

at the moment. This is blowing

in hot gusty winds. We're

expecting temperatures to

as high as 40 degrees today. Behind

Behind it is a frontal system,

which will sweep through a

gusty change later today. Temperatures Temperatures will drop tomorrow

Temperatures will drop down tomorrow as well. The tomorrow as well. The cold

front will head over SA, then towards western parts of

Victoria, Tasmania and also NSW

later on tonight. So we have a change change moving in across the

south, is that right? We affect the President's Cup, as

we saw before, the skies were

blue in Victoria, but it will

change later tonight and across

the weekend. As we head into

tomorrow, we'll see more

fall throughout that region. A

low-pressure trough is coming down from the north towards the north-east

down from the north towards the north-east of NSW. Still activity north-east of NSW. Still storm activity around that region at activity

the moment, although the trough

is weakening. Over the next

few days around the two

low-pressure systems a lot of

heavy rain will continue

throughout the weekend. As throughout the weekend. As we

head around the States now, in

Queensland, showers and storms about the north-west, about the north-west, showers also developing over

north-east tropical coast NSW

- storms continuing. - storms continuing. Victoria -

- fine this morning, apart from

isolated showers over the far south-west, warm and humid conditions

conditions ahead of isolated

showers in the south during the

afternoon. Tasmania - the

patchy rain will extend across

the State this morning. It will ease during the day before

increasing about the west and

north later in the afternoon.

SA - hot gusty northerly winds moving throughout the State,

Adelaide already 34, heading for 37. for 37. Showers will develop coast before they spread across

the State. WA - still an onshore flow pushing showers

about the south coast and light rain

rain about the rain about the south-western Goldfields. Heavy rain

forecast for the Kimberley forecast for the Kimberley and

also over the Top End. As we head into the weekend:

Kazuo Ryo Kngwarreye

A fire at an aged care home

in western Sydney has killed at least 9 people this morning.

Fire fighters have described chaotic scenes as they were

forced to crawl on their hands

and knees in thick, black smoke

looking for residents looking for residents trapped

in their beds. At least 100 in their beds. At least 100 people had to be rescued from

the facility and 20 have been

taken to hospital with burns

and smoke inhalation. Liberal

senator Mary Jo Fisher has been

found guilty of assault but not guilty of