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Live. Death of a despot. The passing of North Korea's Kim

Jong Il puts the region on

alert. We need to ensure that calm and restraint are

exercised at an exceptionally

difficult period of transition. Bad weather dashes

hopes of finding more survivors

of Indonesia's asylum boat

tragedy. And an aerial invasion

delivers mixed messages along the Murray-Darling.Good evening

Virginia Haussegger. North and welcome to ABC News. I'm

Korea knew him as the Dear

Leader. Around the world he was

feared and reviled. Kim Jong

Il, leader of North Korea for the past 17 years, is dead. His

death of a heart attack was

kept secret for nearly three days. Tonight the Korean

Peninsula is on heightened

military alert as world leaders

call for calm and restraint.

Ben Worsley begins our

coverage. Dressed in mourning

attire, the North Korean State

she read the news. television presenter wept as

TRANSLATION: I'm announcing in

the most woeful mind that our

great leader Kim Jong Il passed

away due to sudden illness on

his way to a field guidance.

Kim Jong Il she said died from physical and mental strain on a physical and

train trip on Saturday. Officially the 69-year-old's

cause of death Wazza heart attack. State television

reported people crying on the

streets of Pyongyang. Around the world, there was little

sympathy, just caution from the

White House a statement. The

President has been notified and

we are in close touch with our

allies in South Korea and Japan. In Canberra, Kevin Rudd

called for cool heads. We're

junctures in post-1950 military at one of those critical

history where we need to ensure

that calm and restraint are

exercised at an exceptionally

difficult period of transition. South Korea and

Japan's military were immediately placed on emergency

alert. A well rehearsed plan

for exactly this event. It's

think very difficult to predict but I

think one needs to be prepared

for any and all eventualities. After Kim Jong Il suffered a stroke three years succession plans began. His youngest son, 28-year-old Kim

Jong Un, will replace him after

two weeks of mourning. We're

look at an heir apparent who is truly not ready for primetime

player. Observers of the Korean

Peninsula aren't hopeful of major major change. The ruling

regime simply cannot afford any

reform or any sort of revision

of the politics because it's

going to trigger the implosion

of the whole system. Kim Jong

Il's funeral will be held on December 28. Provocative,

unpredictable, paranoid and all

powerful, that's the legacy of

Kim Jong Il. He proved himself

a canny negotiator and

strategist, facing down the

United States over its nuclear

nation programs, yet he leaves his

nation poor and isolated facing an uncertain future. facing an uncertain future.

Shane McLeod looks at the life

of one of the world's most

infamous dictators. He was

known as the Dear Leader. Kim

Jong Il's rise to power and the tenacity with which he

hold of it made him one of the

world's most recognised and

criticised leaders. His origins

are shrouded in propaganda. The

official tale says he was born

in a log cabin on Korea's most sacred mountain but more likely

camp during World War II. His it was in a Russian military

father Kim Il Sung had founded

the nation and groomed his son

to replace him. The younger Kim

studied and worked his way

through the party bureaucracy,

proving his mastery in prop

granda and the performing

arpts. When Kim Il Sung died in 1994, his son was ready to take control but it was a changing

world that Kim Jong Il had inherited. North Korea's enduring supporter, the Soviet

Union, had collapsed. Poor Union, had collapsed. Poor crop

harvests led to a famine. More

than 1 million people starved

to death, perhaps up to 10% to death, perhaps up to 10% of

the population. The new leader

consolidated his power, making

sure the massive military was

prioritised and using brute

force to suppress dissent. Soon, North Korea had

an issue on which to redefine

its relationship with the

world. Nuclear weapons. Other

nations led by the United

Korea to abandon the weapons States tried to convince North

program. By the late 1990s they

appeared to be making progress.

A flowering of democracy in the

neighbouring south brought

sunshine to the relationship

between the two Koreas. In

2000, Kim Jong Il hosted his south Korean counterpart in a

historic summit. Other

diplomatic tise improve would

the United States and

traditional foe Japan. But in

2001, the new President in Washington renewed the North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of

mass destruction whilst

starving its citizens.

Relations went into a downwards spiral. Progress on the nuclear

talks slowed and stalled. In

2006, the nation shocked the

world with the test of its

first nuclear device but it was

clear that the Dear Leader's

health was failing. Kim Jong Il leaves behind a nation fiercely proud and independent yet isolated economically and politically from the rest of

ruled with an iron fist, Vaclav the world.While Kim Jong Il

Haval was a reluctant Czechoslovakia's first

democratic President. The playwright who stared down the

Soviets died overnight. He was

75. Vaclav Haval first came to

provenance during the Prague

spring of the late 1960s when

liberal ideas were briefly allowed allowed to flourish before

being crushed by Soviet tanks. The playwright used his work to criticise old guard Stalinists, earning him the tag of

subversive and several stints

in prison. He was far more

important as a dissident than

as a President. We often forget

plays are frequently subversive. Haval was at the forefront of 1989's 'Velvet Revolution' and when communism

fell he was the clear choice for President.

TRANSLATION: A great man. A

meritorious man. We'll all miss

him. May he rest in

peace. Thousands of people in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia have already turned

out to pay their respects. There are reports that more survivors have been found survivors have been found from the asylum-seeker boat which

sank off Indonesia. At least 30

people have been pulled from

the water so far but more than 150 are still missing. ABC

reporter George Roberts is in

east Java where some of the

survivors have been taken.

Distraught survivors of this

tragedy have broken down in

tears, telling of how they

tried to save their family

members but couldn't. This man from Afghanistan says that he

was surrounded by bodies in the

water as people were calling

out for God to save them. I

saw many, many bodies, many

children, and we were sure that

we cannot survive in that

time. This man's wife survived

the cabicising but was taken by

another wave. She and his two

children haven't been found. "I lost everything. I have nothing. I don't want this

life," he told us. The asylum

seekers have criticised the Australian Government for

saying that 87 people had

survived when at the time authorities had only found 34 people

people alive. They say that

that raised their hopes that some more family members might

be found alive. Since then,

there are reports that more

people have been found and the

rescue operation continues so

there may be some hope yet. The asylum seekers are pleading for

help and threatening to get on

another boat if the Australian

Government doesn't intervene.

They paid up to $6,000 each for

passage to Australia but

ultimately more than 150 people

may have paid with their lives. Local authorities have been

taking the survivors away for

questioning. They're hoping to

get information that will help

them track down the people

smugglers who made hundreds of

thousands of dollars from a

trip that was fraught with danger. The NSW Coroner has

issued a damning report on the

suicide deaths of three men at

Sydney's Villawood detention

centre. An inquest has found

the Immigration Department and its contractors failed to

fulfil their duty of care to

the men. The findings detail a

lack of adequate screening lack of adequate screening and protocols and have prompted

calls for urgent changes to the

detention system. Lawyers for

the detainees' families said

the Coroner had spelt out how each man had been let down.

The findings of.5the Coroner

were really quite comprehensive

in termles of identifying

systemic failures of all three

parties at Villawood detention

centre. Those three parties are

the Immigration Department,

Serco, the private operator Serco, the private operator of Villawood, and inter national

health and medical services.

None escaped criticism. The

detainees were a Fijian man, a

man who claimed to have been

tortured in Iraq citizen. They took their own

lives within a 3-month period

at Villawood last year. The

Coroner said there were startling examples of mismanagement and that some

staff were careless, ignorant

or both. The Government and

Sirco and IHMS had better have

a good long look at each other and see what their duty of care

is to detainees in detention

because there are issues even today. When this man

threatened to jump off a balcony, he was told he would

be coming down one way or

another and going to the

airport. Surco and department

officials failed to coordinate

their response and it wasn't

clear who was in charge. This

man told official he's was

depressed but received little

assistance. In the case of

David Saunders, a prior suicide attempt was known but he wasn't

placed on the appropriate

watch. There needs to be

immediate screening and a

proper treatment planning for

those with mental disorder so

that they're not placed and remain in high within detention centres. The

Coroner has called for series

of changes including a policy

to allow police negotiators to

help in high-risk situations.

I want to ensure that our procedures are best practice so

I'll be paying very serious

regard to the Coroner's recommendations. Something

circo and IHMS have also agreed

to do. A man has appeared in

court in Canberra charged with

murdering Belconnen man Andre

Le Dinh in May last year.

26-year-old Le Dinh's body was

found in his apartment. He died

from head injuries. 38-year-old

Cory James Martin is accused of

the murder and of stealing

drugs and money from the

apartment. A witness told the

court that Martin admitted killing Le Dinh. The witness

also said the stolen drugs

ebelonged to the Rebels

Motorcycle Gang and that he'd

fled Canberra because the

Rebels might blame him for the

drug theft. Australian thalidomide the right to have a landmark class action heard on home

soil. The morning sickness drug

led to mass deaths and birth

defects in the 1950s and '60s. Melbourne woman Lynette Rowe is Melbourne woman Lynette Rowe is suing the drugs manufacturer, Grunenthal. The company wanted

the case heard in Germany where it was never been successfully pseudobut the Victorian Supreme

Court has dismissed the

application. I'm fully

confident and the family is too

that the court will be able to

accommodate the need for

expedition in this case and

that sooner rather than later

Lynette will get to have her

day in court. All she wants is

the chance for a court to hear

her claim. That's what I'm

asking Grunenthal and Diageo to

do, let Lynne have her day in

court, get all the information

on the table and get a

decision. The case will be

heard in Melbourne next Rescuers in the Philippines are

battling mud and fatigue to help survivors of floods that

have so far killed more than

650 people. Hundreds more are

still missing after a tropical

storm tore through the island

of Minanao, washing coastal

villages into the sea. As the floodwaters

floodwaters recede, survivors

returned to what's left of

their homes. This family searches

searches through mud-covered

belongings, knowing how lucky

they were to escape.

TRANSLATION: We thought we were

going to die. This how we escaped, from

escaped, from the corner of that roof. Tropical Storm

Washi hit the island of Minanao

three days ago but it's only

now that the full extent of the

damage can be seen. Entire

villages have been wiped out.

Bodies pile up at the morgue,

uncollected, and officials fear

entire families have been swept

away. The Philippines

Government has mounted a massive rescue operation.

20,000 members of the around

forces have been called in to

wade through the mud and debris

and search the dOesline for

those who may have been swept

out to sea. We sent all of the

available armed forces to help,

in fact we even helicopters yesterday. That's

why we have three helicopters

here assisting us. And while

the rescue effort continues, so

too does the humanitarian

drive. Food and water is

urgently needed for the

displaced. The biggest concern

is the lack of drinking water

and preventing the spread of

water-born diseases. We are

appealing to the international

communities for support because

we're expecting that the need

is really huge. Authorities are

warning that the death toll will continue to rise in the

coming days. The last US troops to leave Iraq has

crossed the border into Kuwait.

A column of about 100 armoured

vehicles carried 500 vehicles carried 500 soldiers across the southern Iraqi desert. Feeling good. I'm

happy. Yeah, baby. Their entry

into Kuwait marks the end of an 8-year campaign. At the

of the war, 1 70,000 US troops

were deployed as the Americans

pulled out there was news of another withdrawal which

threatened Iraq's stability.

The political bloc representing

most Sunni Muslims announced it

would be pulling out of the

parliament. The key challenge

is to maintain the political

consensus that create the new

Iraq, the new regime after

2003, especially the relations between the three key

communities. While Iraq is now

on its own in military terms,

America will continue to

provide diplomatic support. The

recent interest rate cuts were

supposed to be good news for the retail sector but it

doesn't seem to be work out

that way. Retailers have taken

a big hit on stock market

today. Billabong clothing's

shares crashed by more than 40%

after a profit downgrade. Shop owners are hoping consumers

won't dessert them as Christmas

shopping reaches its peak.

Phillip Lasker reports. Board

shorts or not, life hasn't been

good for Billabong. They are

an international business an international business so they are not immune to what is

happening in Europe. The weak

economies in America. Billabong shocked the markets , saying

first-half profit could dive by

up to 25% and nervous investors

almost cut the company in half.

Its share price crashed 44% Its share price crashed 44% to

a record low. Europe's debt crisis is

Unseasonal weather in both the northern hemisphere and Australia was another.

Billabong says Europe is its

biggest problem followed by

Australia but not everyone has

written off spending prospects

for this Christmas. It will be

a solid Christmas in sales this

year and the interest rates

have been - or the reduction in the interest rates have been

good. Others expect the retail numbers to be dented by less

face-to-face shopping and a

desire to hold on to cash. I

think there's accumulation of

structural impacts of people

going more online retailing. I

think there's a factor of also

people being scared about the

security of their jobs. Some

analysts say retail sector jobs

could be threatened by the

growth of online shopping and

big players like Myer and

Harvey Norman either closing

stores or scaling back

operations. What we are

already starting to already starting to see is a

downsizing in the retail labour

force. Primarily from to part-time or casual. But others say the key to future

retail survival, good service, guarantees jobs. I think

they're going to need more

staff not less staff. But all

analysts agree life is no beach

for retailers right now.

To finance now and share

prices were hit hard today not

just by the retail sell-off but

also by a new wave of gloom

about Europe.Here's Alan

Kohler. The market as a whole

was down 2.5% but as you've heard, retailers heard, retailers were absolutely spifflicated thanks

to the profit warning from

Billabong. The banks lost

around 2%. AMP fell nearly 4%.

The scare de jour? Fitch

ratings agency warned downgrades of all European sovereigns because it said a comprehensive solution to the

crisis is beyond reach. Asian stocks

stocks were also marked down

today heavily, none more so

than South Korea because of the new uncertainty caused by the

Beth of the North Korean leader. Otherwise markets there

fell by about the same as ours. Wall Street Wall Street actually closed a bit higher on Friday and

European markets were

relatively calm but we'll see how they go tonight. The Australian Dollar was down a

bit today but it's actually

being held up by the buying of

Aussie Government bonds which I

mentioned last week. Today the

bond yield fell to 3.73% which

is a new low although as I've

learned it's not an all-time

low, just the lowest since 1951

as this chart provided by

Perpetual today shows. The

current rate is only

three-quarters of 1% above the

record low that happened in

1941 just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

My second chart tonight is

designed to put

debt crisis into context it's

the spread between the London

inter bank offer rate, the rate

at which banks lend to each other, and the overnight indexed swap rate which the-S

the more stable benchmark. This

is the key indicator of

stress. 2008 was all about

American banks as you can see

and this time of course and this time of course it's

about Europe but it's not yet

as bad. We're in about 2007 and

that's finance. As the gay

community in Australia pushes for equal marriage rights, in

Africa there's a much more

fundamental battle going on. In Botswana, as in much of Africa,

home phobia is rife and being

gay or lesbian is viewed as a

criminal offence but despite

the personal dangers and abuse,

there's a quiet battle under

way for equality. Africa correspondent Ginny Stein

travelled to Botswana for this

special report. With home

phobia deeply activists know their fight for

equality is going to be long,

toxic and dangerous. I need to

go to places I wish to go to

without worrying about who's

going to say what, who's going to

to do what to me wie. Are a

heterosexual couple. We are interracial couple We are a gay

gay couple. It is impossible

for Botswana to achieve an

HIV-free generation by 2016 without including us. The

national broadcaster refused to

run thissed ad targeting

discrimination and HIV until

all homosexuals were removed

from it. Across Africa, more

than 30 countries still consider homosexuality to be a criminal offence. Ases a

leader, you also have to listen

in a democracy to what people want and that is our situation

here and that's what I'm saying

to you, that it's not what the

majority of the people in this

country want. The other thing is that the perception

Africa is that this homosexuality thing is a European thing. The papser's

message that homosexuality is

wrong is preached to an

accepting audience. We would

want, by God's grace too, see people move from situations that are not right to the right

situations. A strong homophobic

and curative message is often a church drawcard except to those

it's meant to help. We're

fasting and praying, praying

and praying and then I was

like, "No, this thing is not

working. The more we fast the

more I get interested in to

ladies." In Botswana, gay

marriage is definitely far from

reality. The first step towards

decriminalisation is yet to be taken. Farmers in parts of western

Victoria have spent the day

counting stock losses counting stock losses after

flash flooding. Some properties

recorded around 120mm of rain

in an hour during a storm late

yesterday. Farmer Phil Hall

fears up to 100 of his sheep have have drowned. His neighbour can't believe more animals

didn't die. They must have had

snorkels. Did they survive?

Yeah, but I don't know how.

They would have been in water that deep. About 50 farms

through the area were flooded

in January and farmers whose

fences were only replaced four months ago have been hit

again. That's our priority in

the next 48 hours, is to keep

our stock off the roads because

there's no fences for quite a

few k's. The farmers say

insurance doesn't cover this

sort of flood damage. An annual

survey of bird life in the Murray-Darling Basin reported the river system's

blossoming back into health. It

counted nearly a million water

birds. Irrigators say that's

proof the river system is

coping and there's no need to

cut their water entitlements.

The water birds of the

Murray-Darling Basin are flying

again. Their numbers are the

third-highest on record since this long-running wildlife

survey began 30 years ago. This year it's just fantastic

to see the rejuvenation in the

environment , in these wetland systems like the Macquarie Marshes and Lowbidgee wetlands

and the water birds reflect that. We've seen the breeding

species that go from three to

four species in a dry season to

us counting 22 species in a wet

season in 2011 so it's just amazing. Richard Kingsford

enjoyed the view and was even

happier with the numbers from

the final bird count. the final bird count. We've estimated up to

birds in our aerial survey and

this was a great surprise to us

because for the first time in a

long time the numbers went well above the average. The

above the average. The results

come as rural towns claim the water cuts in the Murray-Darling Basin plan will prove prove deadly. They've seized on

today's study. In light of the

latest report, the Government

certainly needs to look at the

rationale for taking so much

watt ourt of our irrigation-dependent communities. But scientists

say these flood years are rare

and that irgarlts are still

taking too much to ensure a

healthy river when things

aren't so wet. To try and

claim that irrigators during

that drought were extracting water is absolute bollocks.

With Australia's most important

river system,, even good news becomes political. India are on shaky ground after day one of

their rain-affected tour match Canberra. In a frequently

interrupted start, the Indian batsmen failed to settle,

finishing the day on 4/162. Gautam Gambhir top-scored with 64 not out while Doug Bollinger

failed to take a wicked. Hurdler Sally Pearson had some

good news today after an injury

scare at the weekend. Scans revealed she only suffered a minor strain. The world

champion hurt her quad muscle during a race at Traralgon on

Saturday. Her manager says the

injury won't disrupt her preparations for the preparations for the London Olympics. Athletics Australia expects her to be back on the

track in a fort night. Injuries in American high school football are commonplace but

rarely do they happen quite

like this. A run away electric

cart has knocked down a group

of coaches and officials after

a game at Cowboy stadium in Arlington, Texas. Most were

bowled over or knocked out of

the way while the coach of the

winning team somehow ended up

at the wheel. A determined groundskeeper eventually brought the cart under control.

It's still not clear what

caused it to take off in the

first place. Now with a look at

today's weather, here's Mark today's weather, here's

Carmody. Crikey, the things

that happen at the football.

Thank you and good evening.

When I heard the showers on the roof this morning and didn't

see the sun, I knew gardening

was out and Christmas shopping

was in. Unfortunately, so did

everybody else. To 9 this

morning the airport picked up

9mm and since then another 1mm.

Overnight, the temperature

dropped to 15 and with light

moderate north-westerly winds

it climbed to 22 today. Despite the lack of real rain today,

thunderstorms and more showers

are on the cards. The winds have

have eased now and it's 17 degrees.

The radar is showing showers

have moved through and they are

now mainly centred over the

Sydney basin. Nationally today,

Sydney was wet, Brisbane was cloudy and dry.

Cloud along the east coast is

move nothing to the Tasman

while cloud over the Top End is

almost stationary. Both of

these cloud bands are

associated with troughs which

will bring more showers to the

thunderstorms over the thunderstorms southeast tomorrow and

Showers contract nothing to the Tasman tomorrow but more

persistent over Darwin to

Nhulumbuy. The winds over region tomorrow will be mainly southeasterly to

southwesterlies. Tomorrow the

showers will slowly clear only

to possibly return late in the


This flower's got nothing to

starting do with plum pud, it's just

agapanthus. Thanks, Mark. starting to come out,

Before we go a brief recap of

our top stories - world leaders

have called for calm and

of North Korean leader Kim Jong restraint following the death

Il. And with bad weather

hampering rescue efforts,

time's running out for

survivors of Indonesia's asylum

boat tragedy. That's the news

for now. Stay with us for 7:30

with Chris Uhlmann. From me for now, goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

Welcome to 7.30. Tonight -

shock and horror with more than

200 asylum seekers feared dead

after their overcrowded boat capsize on its way to

Australia. Are we any closer to a solution?

The loss of life we have seen actually highlights fact needs new answers. What we know

is short-term politics and short-term solutions aren't going to solve this. This Program Is Captioned


That story shortly, but

first, North Korea's Dear

Leader is dead at 69. Kim Jong

Il leaves behind a torn and

bleeding nation with hundreds

of thousands in gulags, hundreds of thousands more dead

from starvation and a nuclear weapons program controlled by

question hard-line generals. The

will be a smooth transition to

his younger son Kim Jong-Un or