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(generated from captions) This morning - the Prime sell their credentials. I have Minister's new Cabinet members

done almost 40 forum, almost

4,000 older Australians have

attended those forums. I am

Prime Minister for the very, very graitsful to the

challenge that she's set me. This Program is Captioned

Live. Also today Monash freeway remains closed,

traffic cray Kaye yos spreads

across the city. Tensions ease

in Papua New Guinea after Sir

Michael Somare reenters the

political scene. And time's up,

Aussie captain Michael Clarke

concedes Phil Hughes will have

to go. He needs to find to go. He needs to find some

run, it's as simple as that. If

he doesn't he will have to score some for Good morning. You're

watching ABC News 24. I'm weather first. O'Brien. A quick look at the

A negative assessment of the

EU summit by ratedings agencies

sent Wall Street lower. The Prime Minister has rejected suggestions that she did suggestions that she did not

have the authority to force more members after frontbench out of Cabinet. Kym Carr was Dehradun moated to the auter ministry while Robert

McClelland and Peter Garrett

remain in Cabinet. Ms Glrd said he chose her frontbench based

on skills an the ability to communiticate with the community. Ms Gillard this morning defended the increase

in the number of in the number of Cabinet Ministers to 22. It is that

size because of the bredtheth

of the Government's priorities. We want to make sure what we're

focusing on in 2012 is on the focusing on in 2012 is on the

Cabinet table. In terms of

publicly here about people assertions that have been made

threatening to

like they are completely

untrue. Being involved in these

informations neens you have a

set of difficult conversation.

Robert would have preferred to stay but he also identified a

me a great passion for emergency management role. me a great passion for the

Having lived through the last

for Robert to take that roll summer of natural disasters I

and to represent it around the

Cabinet table. Also what I Cabinet table. Also what I was

referring to is people

threatening to re sign, that is completely untrue. I have selected the best team, the

strongest team to deliver the

Government's priorities in 2012

which are about jobs and the economy and fairness. Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking there on program earlier this morning. there on and Radio's 'A.M.'

We will cross live to our

political correspondent in Canberra. The pressure

continues on Julia Gillard from

explain ing the motivation journalists in relation to journalists in relation

behind these appointments? It

does. There continuing to be

questions to Julia Gillard

about why plr people about why plr people were

chosen for promotions an why

people were chosen to be

demoted and in some cases dropped of the Cabinetal

together as in the case of the

case of Kym Carr. There is much speculation for Julia Gillard in recent

times has waned even though he

has been a backer of her in the has been a backer of her in

past. Give en to that other supporters of Julia the likes of Bill Shorten, Mark supporters of Julia Gillard,

Arbib Nicola Roxon have done

quite well out of the reshuffle have added to thaterer seption

there is a political motivation

behind some of the changes in

this reshuffle. Now we heard

Julia Gillard there refute Julia Gillard there refute that

and say she's chose wren the

best possible team that she

could. What we have heard this

Minister Kevin Rudd, the morning from juds, the Foreign morning from juds,

Foreign Minister is some effusive praise of Kim car WHO

has remained silent his his

demotion out demotion out of the Cabinet

bench, which is likely to add

to raised eye browse about just where potential allegiances lie from Cabinet Ministers. So let's hear a bit of Kevin Rudd speak ing from New York in speak ing from New

praise of Kim Carr earlier this morning. As far as Minister

Carr is concerned, Carr is concerned, Minister

Carr has been in my a very good Minister for industry. His period as

Industry Minister he was

largely responsible during the global financial crisis for

ensuring none of the Australian car companies fell over. Automobile companies around the

world were falling over at that time. He engaged in many detailed negotiations with the

manufacturers to make sure they principal Australian car

kept producing. He worked with

the headquarters in Detroit and

in Nagoya and did an excellent

job on that score. I have much

respect for his work on that count. On the

appointments that is entirely a matter for the Prime Minister. Prit yes diplomatic matter for the Prime

when he was prodded about the

reshuffle itself. The new Ministers have been out and about? They're not new Ministers just yet. This is it

Ministers until tomorrow when they're not technically new

they're sworn in by the happen in Sydney. But that Governor-General. That will

hasn't stopped them from

running ahead with new

portfolios and making sure portfolios and making sure they

can get their face s and be seen in their new roles. A

roles are number of those people with new

the new Health Minister Tanya

Plibersek, the Minister for

mental health and ageing Mark

Butler who has been promote ed into into Cabinet. Nicola Roxon who

is the new Attorney-General

will be out in the public eye

until tomorrow, they officially today. Now even though it's not

make their portfolios and they

will all get extra briefings

over summer to get up to speet

indications from speed, we already have

indications from a) number of them as to where their

priorities lie. Tanya Plibersek

wants to try to get the private Government has been trying to tested which is something the

do for some time and hasn't

been able to. Mark Butler is

announce ms talking up the recent spending

Government in announce ms from the Federal

health and looking at aged care

re forms. So they're all runs ahead and very eager to make

the most of the promotions that the most of the promotions that they've been given. One of the

existing Ministers I think it

is, Martin Ferguson, he's released his draft energy policy today? He remains in the same portfolio of energy and

resources and has released this

draft energy policy which they're looking they're looking at having a new

white paper effectively when it comes to energy policy. Now there are some interesting details to note in the draft

ahead of a final report ahead of a final report by mid-year next year. He is calling or this draft policy calls for the States to go

further with privatisation when

it comes to the electricity

generation sector. It also

calls for some change s when it comes to some green rebate

schemes given that there will be a scheme in place as of mid- next

year, thanks to the legislation

for the carbon tax. And the

Federal Government has also

announced as part of this

announcement of Martin Ferguson

has made this morning, that

they're not going to go ahead with introducing some

standards and also some carbon

capture and storage

requirements that they were going to specify, saying the

fact that there will be carbon pricing legislation in place should mean that the should mean that the market takes care of those issues rather

it. So we will get more details an reaction from those an reaction from those in the

industry as more details industry as more details of

this draft become clear. No

doubt the clean s will be keen

on throwing their two cents worth in as well. Veteran leader Sir Michael Somare is v

expected to be reain stated as Papua New Guinea's Prime

Minister. The splct vul ruled

the election of v of O'Neill

unconstitution at. Sir Michael

was controversially removed from office in was ow oh out of the country seeking medical treatment. The

Supreme Court found there was

no vacancy left making the election of Peter O'Neill unlawful. A large crowd is

expefblinged to farewell former Governor-General sir Zelman

Cowen this morn. He died last

Friday. He was 92. He had been

battling with Parkinsons disease. He Governor-General in December

1977, after a turbulent period in Australian in Australian political history. And was credited with

bringing stability bringing stability and healing to the to the office. Jaily Doyle reports. As a lawyer, educator

and Governor-General, Sir Zelman earned respect. I lived in a good and free

country. I want to say that I

am profoundly grateful to all

of you. Sir Zelman was of you. Sir Zelman was born

in Melbourne in 1919, he began

a long career in education at

Melbourne University. Later, he university of New England. We

will do our best to provide for your needs. And he your needs. And he took the

helm at Queensland University

during a time of political and

social upheaval. He didn't

shy away from another

contentious role - the office of Governor-General had become

a controversial one, after

Gough Whitlam's 195 dismissal.

Well may we say God save the Queen...Because nothing will save the Governor-General. Two

years later, Malcolm Fraser appointed Sir appointed Sir Zelman to restore staivenlts I Sir Zelman Cowen

do swear that I will bear

faithful allegiance. I got on

with the job. I responded to

the request to do the things

that I should do. He served as

Governor-General for 4.5 years. And focussed population. These are the

really important things that the Governor-General does. And

I call that interpreting the nation to itself. Until his

death, Sir Zelman remained

active in the Jewish community

and was involved in Melbourne's

Jewish commum. Museum The real point is that Jews point is that Jews have played

a part in the life of the community

community from the very

beginning right up to the

present day. A high achiever

and always humble. And we will bring you Sir Zelman Cowen's state funeral from the temple Beth

Israel synagogue in Melbourne's

St Kilda around 11am even St Kilda around 11am even day light time. That should start

in about 50 minutes time. So

that will be live here on ABC News 24. Melbourne's Monash

freeway is likely to remain closed all morning as the clean-up Continues after an

accident involving two trucks overnight. One semitrailer overnight. One semitrailer lost

its load and that load was concrete beam. And concrete beam. And it flew off

the back of the truck and hit a

bridge pylon in the smerve intesh suburb of Mull grave.

The accident caused a second truck travelling in the

opposite direction to swerve

and lose its load. Both drivers were uninjured. The closure were uninjured. The closure is causing major delays on Eastlink, the Prince s Highway as well as Dandenong and Wellington

Wellington roads. A man accused

of stealing $16 million from

Queensland health had spent the

night in the Royal Brisbane

hospital after an apparent drug

over dose. 36-year-old Joel Barlow was found semiconscious

at at his luxury New Farm unit

yesterday, our reporter Emma

Pollard says he remains under

police guard. Joel Barlow spent

the night in the Royal Brisbane Hospital under police

hasn't been charged yet. hasn't been charged yet. He will have to be released by

doctors before police can

question him. If charge s are

laid, we can expect him to

appear in the Brisbane

Magistrates Court but we're not

Magistrates Court but we're not sure yet when that will

happen. The ramifications of

this case have been just huge. You heard yesterday the Premier has announced that she's splitting department, Queensland Health, into two. So effectively one

side will look after health care and hospitals and care and hospitals and the

other side will look other side will look after those administrative function that she has been so un happy

with. Now, this comes after a long history of issues in Queensland Health. We had

problems with James Pattinson - Jayant patd el and the issues

with health pay. Amateur

footage from Syria appears to show the show the ongoing crackdown on

the uprising against President

Bashar Al-Assad. The footage

which can't be independent ly verified appears to show verified appears to show tear

gas being fired in the city of du ra and security forces deet

- Daraa and security - Daraa and security forces

meet beating a man. The violence against Bashar Al-Assad has grown in violence.

And once peaceful protest ers

take up arms to protect themselves to protect

themselves against the themselves against the military assault. Local elections have

been held despite the ongoing violence. One of Russia's

richest men says he will step forward to challenge Vladimir

Putin at next year's presidential elections. Mikhail

Prokhorov says he will try to collect the 2 million signatures needed to get him on

the ballot paper but other

political players are sceptical

saying he is put being put up

to it by Putin himself. Thousand s take to the streets

of Moscow haermg home their

love of Vladimir Putin. The kem Kremlin has denied this Democrat stolen generation was s

s or organised by Putin. But a

new player has arrived to put himself at the end #0 head of the discontent. Mikhail Prokhorov, billionaire businessman, sports club owner

and now presidential candidate.

He has already up set the

Kremlin once this year but he sin ist insist any risk is worth it. TRANSLATION: This is TRANSLATION: This is probably the most serious decision in my

life. I am going to take life. I am going to take part in the presidential

elections. As you member, the

Kremlin swept me and Kremlin swept me and my associates away from the right

cause party and we failed to do

what we wanted to. I am not

Saddam Hussein used to stopping

in mid-stream. Prokhorov was flirted causes creating his own brand

of hybrid cars but he made his real money in metals with

Forbes magazine estimating Forbes magazine estimating he is worth a around $13 is worth a around $13 billion . The path from public prominence to Russian politics is one filled with personal risk. When oil billionaire Khodorkovsky formed his own

party, he was scoon jailed but

any threat has been dismissed

by one Opposition candidacy has been created by

the Kremlin to siphon off mittle class protest votes.

The top stories this

morning the Prime Minister

Julia Gillard has rejected

suggestions she didn't have the

authority to push more of her frontbench members out of Cabinet. The Cabinet now has 22

Ministers, with only Carr forced

forced out. The aftermath of an

overnight truck crash on

Melbourne's Monash trucks were involved but crashed separately. The crashed separately. The freeway

is closed in both directions is closed in both directions at glen Waverley. And tension

appears to have ceased in appears to have ceased in ang -'sed in capital after v of the sfrct

ordered the restatement of Sir

Somare. So the court ruled Sir

mike et cetera's removal from

office in August was unlawful.

Now to the weather - David Cameron has vigorously

defend his decision to veto a

new European treaty but Nick

Clegg has stayed away from Clegg has stayed away from the Parliament raising questions over tension in the Government.

The Opposition says Mr Cameron put

put political interests ahead

of those of the country. Christmas may have arrived in

treat but the question today

was whether any festive spirit

had spread down the road to the House of Commons. David Cameron made the short journey there knowing his Liberal knowing his Liberal Democrat

partners would not know. So when the Prime Minister got to his feet the cheers from his

MPs were predictable. I went to

Brussels with one objective - to protect Britain's interest. To the delight of his backbenchers the Prime Minister defended his disixths I have to

tell the House the choice was a

treaty without proper

safeguards or no freet treaty

and the right answer was no

treaty. It was not an easy right thing to do. Last week,

Britain stood alone as Mr

Cameron backed plans for the EU

countries designed to prop up the euro with enough new rules.

He said the deal wasn't in

Britain's interest which

Cahilled to protect Britain.

Nick Clegg said the veto was

bad for Britain and would leave the UK isolated in what President Sarkozy of France

today said was now a Europe of

two speeds. Labour siz it would not back the they would put party they would put party interest ahead of country interest. How can the Prime Minister expect to persuade anybody else it's a

good outcome when

persuade his own deputy. Face

faised with a choice of national interest and party interest she has chosen interest she has chosen the

party interest. We will rue the day this Prime Minister left Britain alone without influence. It is bad

for business, it is bad for

jobs. It is bad for jobs. It is bad for Britain. Last week some Tory MPs Last week some Tory MPs were questioning their leader's judgment, today they were jubilant. I thank him for displaying the Bulldog spirit

in Brussels last week. I

honourable friend on his

actions. Can he confirm that he

will not make any further

policy confessions to the leak

s to on the lib Democrat benches as a result of doing the right thing for Britain. Others were less

enthusiastic. So he's walked

out without using his

a rebate like Mrs Thatcher did. He's walked out without a

couple of Major, what a

plonker. Although most MPs

plonker. Although most MPs were restrained in their criment,

some asked if constructive diplomacy would be better. Would the Prime Minister

reflect whether that kind of

constructive and positive

diplomacy might be a approach to securing British interest than rushing for

exit. The Lib Dem leader made his disagreement his disagreement clear. Being isolated as one is potentially

bad for jobs, bad for growth,

bad for the livelihoods of mill

of people in this country. But the Coalition Government is

here to say stay. Christmas may

be a good time of good will and

cheer but there is not much behind this door. At least not

among the Coalition partner. Let's check the

markets now. Just days after

that EU summit, there was a

fair bit of optimism to begin

with but that has all turned around now? It hasn't taken long to dissipate. I long to dissipate. I comes after ratings agencies the Moodys says last week's EU summit offered few new measures to deal with the region's definite

debt crisis. It says the EU has

a continued absence of decisive policy measures. Moodys

rein-Tated - reit rated it will

review the ratings of all count Federal Police 2012. Fitch

ratings has echoed that sentiment saying last week's

summit did little to ease pressure in the Eurozone. pressure in the Eurozone. It comes after a warning from Standard & Poors it's considering downgrading dent of 15 of the 17 Eurozone

countries. The the teg

negative assess ment sent

global markets lower and things

aren't looking too bright for

market today. The future

was pointing to a loss of 1.5%

at the open and the All

Ordinaries Index is off close

to that amount now, down almost 1.5% as is the ASX 200 McInnes index. On Wall Street the Dow Jones

Jones industrial average retreated 1.3%. The technology focus Naz Daz was down around the same Atlantic, there were steeper

declines erasing all declines erasing all the previous sessions' gains. The

FTSE 100 index lost 1.8% and

the Dax slumped over 3%. Looking at commodity

markets now and spot gold prices have fallen back as

investors look to the US dollar

for safety instead. West Texas

crude oil prices slipped

overnight. With risk off the

table, the Australian dollar

has lost ground against the greenback, right greenback, right now it's buying 100.7 US Greek Finance Minister says the

country won't be introducing more

more taxes. He says there need

s to be an increased focus on

reducing spending rather than

more revenue raising measures.

The Finance Minister held talks

with #23ish8s from the European Commission. The European

Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The discussion also continue

and Greece says it must face up to its financial problems. The

US looks set to run a budget deficit be low $1 trillion for

the first time in four years. The figure represents progress

in Washington, where debate in Washington, where debate has

raged over spending. the key reason the budget is

under is an account ing shift which

which saw around $31 billion which saw around $31 billion in unemployment benefitted unemployment benefitted counted in last years

Automatic spending cut also

begin in the News 2013 f a

special committee failed to reach an agreement in November. And I will be back

with more from the markets next hour. For a look at the major sports stories or the day, Paul Kennedy joins us. It's pretty safe

safe to assume there will be

some pretty major changes to

the Australian team the Australian team before the Test series starts Test series starts against India? A couple at least. One benefit. I think Michael

Clarke's comments after day's play yesterday have signaled Philip Hugh's imminent demotion. He might head back to NSW now and continue building

his career and hope to one day

get back for Australia. But it

was a really fascinating day's

play yesterday and New Zealand took all their chances, they

look fit and skill NFL the

slips. The swing bowling was magnificent. And Doug bracewell was the man who got the wickets

ap David Warner would have the only

only Australian batsman who

would have slept through the

right last night. Re playing

all their poor shots an Michael

Clarke there he is there, he would have would have been going over and

over the line-up maybe for

Boxing Day. Maybe he is

thinking about the scheduling too. The players have to sink

themselves into Twenty20 while

India supplies into the country

and starts a tour match in

Canberra on Thursday. They will be getting prepared that day. Isn't it amazing how things

turn around. I heard you

mention a lot of the cricket riders were - wrirs were suggesting after the first Test

why does Australia even why does Australia even bother playing continue ris and then it just turns around turns around like. This There Baz a bit of that dealing -

there was a bit of that feeling

that it was a 2-1 side. But we

saw New Zealand sports people

are very resilient and

are very resilient and they deserved the win yesterday. I

thought they really took it

away from Australia. Maybe away from Australia. Maybe we were all a bit premature in

those thoughts but now the talk

is that OK it's an honest loss

and nowous has to get real and carrying more than a couple of

perhaps. While they their experience and there being used to situations like that, I am

talking about Clarke and Ponting and hussy, it didn't

count for much yesterday. The

younger ones carried the younger ones carried the day.

They showed the greatest fight. Maybe that might be an in the middle order at

least. And a great image that,

or not so great at the ends. It'ses thattic. Turning to English soccer. What is happening with Manchester

City? Manchester City have lost their foirs match in all four

division of the EPL. It was the

only team undefeated until about

about two hours ago when

Chelsea knocked off the league

ladder leaders and as we take a

look at a new of the goals

216 - 2-1 was the score in the end. You can see the clock on end. You can see the clock on

the top left hand corner the top left hand corner that was been two minutes and chessy

was able to strike back in the

34th minute and then man city was reduced to 10 men. Franch

Lampard who hasn't been Lampard who hasn't been able

togate start in the first team

for Chelsea came off the bench

to take a penalty. And sloltd

it home. So Manchester City now has two-point lead of the table and Chelsea in third. It's looking tougher and tougher for the Thorpedo to make it throw the Olympics. make it throw the Olympics. So many young swimmers performing really well in the

200? It's been a fantastic

year in the 100. He is in full

preparation, it's only his

second swim t at the Queensland

times at the 200m distance. Up

there in the top, the three

from the top is Cameron McIll voi. He is swimming against

James Magnusen and also the

reigning title holder of the

200 m for Australia. And he did it it easy. He's taken five

septiond off his 200 m freestyle side time in the last

year. It's no splash Flash in

the pan. He is the same

youngster that wiped Ian

Thorpe's record of Thorpe's record of 100m freestyle for 16-year-olds offer the record books just

last year. So he is coming in a

big way, Cameron McIll voi and

thrown up more evidence that it will be tough for Ian Thorpe to

come back and beat all of these

young er guys. Magnusen in the

100m that is his specialty, Ma

Cameron McIll voi swims that

distance as well as the 1 200.

Interesting times. That will be

one of the big stories of

2012. Just as an indication of how old he, is 17 years old. He

was asked what his next big wish was he wanted to get a

car. He wanted to get car. He wanted to get a Rover, that would be sick! He know fas

tha if he s out a couple of

brand naips there might be some

sponsors knocking down his

door. Thank you, Paul Kennedy. Vanessa O'Hanlon is

with us now to take a look at

the weather. The rain

continues. There's been some

heavy falls in Perth. That is

right. 43 mm overnight iexth

the highest rainfall in 60

years, the highest December

rainfall. There they're only

5mm making it the wettest

December on record. We can see

this low pressure system

causing tul plenty of rain this morning and

throughout the day. Then it throughout the day. Then it

will make its way towards the South Australian border and we

will see y falls tomorrow right along along the boarder from the Northern Territory down to

SA. Earlier this morning I saw one of your tables and it

mentioned the des average for Perth

Perth in - December average Perth in - December average for Perth in trainful rainfall. They usually get so little

rainfall there. That's right

because this time of the year

it's summer. We had a heat wave

at the start of the month. A heat ef e wave heat ef e wave now and now

heavy rainfalls. It's such a

mix. Last year the dams were

around 30%. By mid-year that got down to

back up to 30.5%. With that

low easing away in the Tasman,

it's like a little bit calmer

over the south-east? Much, much

calmer. We are looking at heavy rainfalls about that low, out toofrds the ocean as out toofrds the ocean as it makes its way to New Zealand.

Today we will weather over the eastern areas. As much as 130mm at Lady

Elliott Island in Queensland up to 9ams, massive amounts of rainfalls. Much quieter until we see more we see more rain developing in

the south-east on Thursday and

Friday. A lot of rain around

the country by the end of the week. What about around the nation today? In Queensland

today, calm wer today, calm wer that trough over the tropins an shift ing

north a lot of rain over the

region. Quietiner the rest of the

the State with a top of 29 for

Brisbane. NSW,

showers along the coast but they won't be anything like we've been seeing. Southerly

winds gust y along the coast.

Much fininer the west, up to 30

for Bourke. Isolated showers also across southern Victoria,

mainly about east Gippsland mainly about east Gippsland but

they will clear around midday. 20 degrees in 20 degrees in Melbourne.

Showers across most of

Tasmania, much keefrl as well,

just 15 degrees for Hobart and

strarn. SA, showers about the

agricultural region and along

the coast. In WA, that we are expecting we are expecting today. Mainly throughout that central region.

26 degrees for Perth: Up to the

north of the country, north of the country, afternoon

storm force the Kimberley, gust

y storms for - storm for the northern part of the Northern

Territory. Tomorrow Thank you, Vanessa. Thank morning - the Prime Minister,

Julia Gillard, has defended her