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Tonight - a Boxing Day

tragedy - four killed in a

Queensland house fire.

Melbourne cops an unexpected white Christmas. Big sales

bring out the big crowds but

Canberra shoppers still won't spend. An afternoon

breakthrough for India puts

Australia on the back foot. Hobart

Hobart bound - Wild Oats XI

takes the early lead. Good

evening Craig Allen with ABC News.

News. Truly horrible, that's

how neighbours have described a

house fire on Queensland's

Sunshine Coast which killed a

mother, her three children and

left a TV chef fighting for his life. 39-year-old Matt Golinski

is in a

is in a critical condition with

burns to more than 40% of his

body. The blaze broke out at

his Tewantin home near Noosa

this morning. Just a day after

celebrating Christmas the

Tewantin neighbourhood was

woken by an unfold ing tragedy. You could hear the

crackling and the screaming of

the people was the bit that's gonna rattle me. Firefighters were called around

were called around 3:30 and

battled the blaze for around an

hour. The home could not be

saved. Neighbours too tried to help. We both spotted Matt

laying on the ground severely burnt, like in

and screaming of pain and

screaming of, you know, concern

of his family. Local chef Matt

the television show 'Ready Golinski, who had been part of

Steady Cook'

Steady Cook' was taken to

Nambour Hospital and then

thrown to Brisbane in

critical condition with severe thrown to Brisbane in a

burns to 40% of his body. His wife Rachael and three

daughters 13-year-old Starlia

and 12-year-old twins Sage and

Willow died in the blaze.

Neighbours say the twins had a disability. Recently they had

been selling lemonade in the street I thought it was the

heart breaker cutest thing ever. That is a

heart breaker to know they were

sweet kids. There has been an

outpouring of support in the

are thinking about family. It community at a time when most

is a family crisis and it is

tragedy this has Christmas and it is an absolute

occurred. These are always

tragic events to lose a family

and especially houroing at this

thinking of the difficult time time of year. Authorities

ahead for the small Sunshine

Coast community. How do you

Coast community. How do you

explain these sorts of things?

I can only feel for the people

that had to witness what's gone

on here . Forensic officers are

combing the wreckage trying to find out how the fire started.

Melbourne is still cleaning up

after violent hailstorms and

even tornados swept through the

city late yesterday afternoon.

Thousands of buildings and cars

Thousands of buildings and cars

were left damaged and the SES

says it could be the middle of the week before they get

through all the calls. After a

hot morning it became a white

Christmas of sorts. A

succession of storms passed

over the metropolitan area but

the northern suburbs were the hardest hit. This hailstorm was literally

literally the size of golf

balls and in a short time the

whole ground appeared to be

covered with snow. Like

shotguns going from everywhere.

It was unbelievable. With

thousands of homes and cars

sustaining damage it will be a

costly Christmas for some. We

the light fitting and the had water pouring in through

exhaust fan. You couldn't use

the power. It was a bit scary

the power. It was a bit scary

really. I had never seen

anything like it. I could see a crack sort of spreading across

the ceiling and I thought,

"That's where all the water's

coming in, "Before I flew it it

had fallen on me. While some

residents were caught unawares

the bureau says it had been

five days prior to forecasting thunderstorms for

Christmas. We had two cells

Melbourne area yesterday which that moved through the


were super cells, very severe

storms and we did see very

large hail and a tornado

reported out of one of

them. The state emergency

service is still working

through a backlog of have been brought in from for help and extra volunteers

regional Victoria as

back-up. We are asking

residents to be patient as they

a lot wait for assistance. We do have

a lot of outstanding calls for assistance at this time. Flash flooding caused

flooding caused havoc on the

roads with around 30 people

rescued from their cars. Some

suburban railway lines for also

damaged so for many Melburnians

Christmas Day 2011 will be hard

to for get. The wild weather

continues in the north of the

country. Despite Cyclone Grant

being downgraded to a topical

low. Many areas remain on alert

low. Many areas remain on alert

while others have begun the big

clean-up.Rising floodwaters

could be the next worry. Two

things are synonymous with the

Top End, barramundi fishing and

cyclone season. For most local

fishers only a really

would keep them away from

Brimming waterways. I have been

through a bit of them. I am used to it. Heavy rain associated with ex-tropical Cyclone Grant is swelling

rivers and flood plains through Kakadu National Park 300 kilometres East Java of kilometres East Java

Darwin. Don't go driving unless

you have to because the rivers

will come up and there will will come up and there will be localised flooding. The 2000 of

jab rue and settlements through

the region have been on alert

since Cyclone Grant question

gan tracking their way. The

last couple of days we have had

staff tiebing things down. The

low pressure system is expected

to cause further heavy rainfall

and damaging winds. There is

also the chance the system could reform into a cyclone later in the week. Maybe

Thursday or Friday this system

will move back over the Gulf and gradually start to

the Coburg Peninsula north-east reform. Cyclone Grant crossed reform. Cyclone Grant

of Darwin last night as a

category system. Winds of up to

140 kilometres an hour battered

croaker island. You could hear

is chic and the power of it as

hit the station here. Branches place. In Darwin residents are

alived to have been spared from

the wild weather. Most agree

the cyclone threat was well

handled. I have been through

Tracy and I don't think too

much warning or insight to probabilities could ever be enough. Territorians are being

reminded to stay prepared. The

cyclone season has only just

begun. Ex-Tropical Cyclone Fina

is still making its presence

felt along parts of the East Java

Java coast. Beaches were again closed on Queensland's Gold

Coast along with more than half

the beaches in New South them because the water on top

does not look too bad. With the

outgoing tide and the king tide

we had this morning there is a

sucking motion and they are dragging people out of their

depth quickly. There will be a

moderate to large swell

affecting most of the coastline

this week. We are urging people to be smart, to be smart, swim between the

flags, if there is no flags up

don't go fishing, rock fishermen, give it a miss. Some

New South Wales beaches will

remain closed. A huge bushfire

is still burning out of control

in Western Australia's remote north-west. The slow moving blaze started in the Shire of

Carnarvon and is now burning

directly towards three pastoral

stations in the shires of Exmouth

Exmouth and Ashburton. This

photo shows how close the fire

got to one homestead. The

bushfire has already burnt through

bushland. His family says he

put the needs of others first,

loved his job and died a hero.

Specialist paramedic Mick

Wilson is being remembered as a

man who saved countless lives

only to lose his own during a

difficult rescue mission.A

devoted father of three, a

loving husband and a man who

put the needs of others before

his own. Kelly Wilson says her

soulmate died a hero. He saved countless, countless lives.

There are many people out there

that owe their lives to my

beautiful husband. Today the tributes were flowing for tributes were flowing for one of the nation's most experienced specialist

paramedics. Mick Wilson died

trying to rescue an injured

canyoner at Carrington Falls

south of Sydney. I'm guttered.

Mick was my best mate. He died doing what he was among an elite and highly

trained group in the New South Wales ambulance service. He

received a bravery award for

the 2008 rescue of a man

trapped in Wombeyan Caves.

Another for trying to save the

life of a policeman shot during

a drug bust last year. His

final rescue operation took

place in treacherous conditions under the Carrington Falls. I

just ask anyone that is going

into the bush or into the ocean

to consider their options first and and make sure

and make sure that they're

prepared for it. But accidents

do happen, no matter where you are. Just why Mick Wilson's

winch line to the chopper was cut

cut will be a focus of investigations. We are trying to establish the sequence of

events in general helicopter

winch cables can need to be cut

in the case of an emergency or

indeed it could be a crew

decision to cut. It took until

yesterday morning

Wilson's body to be retrieved. The 30-year-old rescued canyoner is in St George hospital in a stable condition.

It was no merry Christmas for

Canberra retailers. Now the

traditional Boxing Day shopping

binge has also binge has also fallen flat.

There were plenty of bargains

to be had but the deep

discounts still was not enough

to get thrifty shoppers to part

with their cash. While the crowds turned up in force for the traditional post-Christmas

markdowns there was one

critical element missing. It

has been fairly busy, a lit of

lookers, a few sales, not too

many yet. Despite big discounts Canberrans seemed

Canberrans seemed more content window shopping. Consumed out.

I find the whole thing a little

too commercial. We have what we

need and now we are heading

out. There was more of a discount before Christmas. I

didn't think they were as good as I would have thought. In an

effort to boost sluggish trade

ACT retailers have been

slashing prices for weeks

leading to what experts say is

a kiss of sales

fatigue. General comments I'm

hearing is that the #15i8s are

no better than they were

pre-Christmas. It has been a

tough year for Canberra

retailers and with retailers and with sales down

2.5% compared to the beginning

of the year the sector is now

one of the worst performing in

the ACT economy. The coming 12

months will be a test for

retail. Many retailers of the

smaller family type are holding

on until after Christmas and

will then decide whether to

keep their stores open or

closed. One area where the cash

registers are getting a workout

is in electronics. We are

finding at the moment the

high-tech products, smart TVs, are going really well. Gadgets

are always good at Christmas.

It has been an iPad-led Christmas. In Sydney bargain masses with the major retailers opening before dawn. There were

similar scenes in Brisbane and

Hobart while wet weather in

Melbourne maent numbers were

down. Today's sales are

expected to generate $1.7 billion nationwide.A military

style drone has been used to

hunt down the Japanese whaling

fleet. The anti-whaling group

Sea Shepherd deployed the drone

for its ship Steve Irwin. It

found the Japanese whaler

Nisshin Maru 1,000 miles north

of the Southern Ocean whaling sanctuary.

sanctuary. The activists hope

it will give them an edge. This

is the earliest we have ever

found them and also the first

we have ever found them before

anyhave even reached the whale

East Anglia try where they intend to kill whales. They say

they are now being chased by

expect the Japanese fleet to reach the whale sanctuary by

the end of the week. Indonesian

police have fired on protesters demonstrating against a planned

Australian-owned gold mine. Two

protesters were killed and ten others injured in the incident

on the island of Sumbawa East Java of Bali. The confrontation

happened on Saturday when

nearly 1,000 villagers refused

to end a week-long blockade at

the local port. Police were

ordered to fire directly into the crowd.

Later they can be seen

dragging and beating one of the injured protesters. The group was trying to block the

construction of a gold mine by

the Australian company ark

exploration. Villagers fear the

- ARC exploration. Villagers

fear the project will destroy

their land and threaten water

supplies.The two men killed are believed to have Police allege the demonstrators

were armed with knives and

Molotov cocktails. The

authorities say they were

forced to open fire after demonstrators burned down

dozens of Government buildings.

Nearly 50 protesters were

arrested. More than 40 people

have died in a series of

attacks on churches in Nigeria.

Most of those killed were

caught in the first blast in a Catholic Church near the

capital. Other bombs went off

in the central city of Jos and

in the north-east at Damaturu

and Gadaka. An ex-treatment

Islamist group is claiming responsibility.

responsibility.This morning worshippers came to St Theresa's Catholic Church to

celebrate Christmas but their

service was ended by an

explosion. The church is near

the capital Abuja in the centre

of Nigeria. A country divided

between a mainly Muslim north and a Christian and a Christian south. Hours later there was another

explosion outside a church in

the mixed town of Jos. When I was

was coming out there was an

explosion there. There was another explosion

here. Hospitals have barely

been able to cope with the

injured. The attacks have been

claimed by an extremist group

called Boko Haram. The group

has carried out dozens of

strikes including this suicide

attack against the United

Nations head quarters in aa

budgea. Boko Haram wants to

impose Islamic Sharia law

across the country. In recent

months Nigeria's army has

carried out an armed offensive

against the group but now Boko

Haram has hit again. Nigeria

struggles to provide a safe

home for both Muslims Christians. These latest attacks may provoke wider conflict. In north-eastern

Afghanistan a suicide bomb

attack claimed 19s. The blast

happened at the funeral of a Government official in the

capital of Takhar Province. The bomber was standing in a group

of mourners when he detonated

his explosives. One of killed was an opposition MP

formerly the police chief for

kun dues province. - Kunduz

province. No one has so far claimed responsibility. Five

years ago 20% of children in Afghanistan

Afghanistan died before they

reached their 5th birthday. Since then there have been dramatic improvements in health

care but Afghanistan remains one

one of the most dangerous

places in the world for a places in the world for a baby

to be born. We report from

Afghanistan.They have no toys

or proper shelter. Their

playground is full of mud and

rubbish but in this country their mother can count herself lucky. Afghanistan's child

mortality rate is among the

world's highest, one in 10

don't live to see their fifth

birthday. At this maternity

hospital in Kabul the 200 beds

are always full. Here the women

and their newborns have a

better chance of survival than

a decade ago. The latest official figures suggest

Afghans are living longer due to improved healthcare.Afghan

women using contraception for

receiving medical assistance

from male doctors remains taboo

but at this female-run hospital

the nurses, midwives and doctors enjoy great success working under the noto helping babies breathe.

A pregnant woman who managed hospital can only expect to

stay for a handful of hours.

That's because the staff at

this overworked maternity unit

last year delivered a

staggering 25,000 healthy

babies. That amounts to an

exhausting daily workload for every employee of the

hospital. We have more than 80 or 100 deliveries.

It is a much tougher battle

once mothers return to the outside world.Humanitarian

groups warn life expectancies

will again deteriorate if

foreign aid is reduced.

A big crowd has turned out in

Karachi to support Imran Khan the Pakistani cricketer turned

politician. All roads into the city

gathered to hear him speak. He

called on his supporters to help improve Pakistan's international reputation. He

also promised that once his Movement for Justice Party was

in power it would end

corruption within 90 days. Our first priority is to establish

a just and equitable society in

Pakistan and create a strong

judicial system. We want to create courts that create courts that don't discriminate. The country's next

next national elections are

scheduled for 2013. The Duke of

Edinburgh will miss the royal

family's traditional Boxing Day

shoot. He is spending a third night in hospital recovering

from heart surgery. Six of the

grandchildren visited the 90-year-old Duke on Christmas Day. Doctors aren't say when he

will be well enough to go home.

The Queen still attended the traditional Christmas Day

service at Sandringham minus

her husband. The royal party

was joined for the first time

at Christmas by the Duchess of Cambridge. The Pope and the

Archbishop of Canterbury have

used their Christmas messages

to address some of the

political and moral challenges

of our time. They spoke of

everything from the violence in

Syria to the global financial crisis.

In bright winter sunshine

Pope Benedict emerged to

address the Catholic faithful.

He spoke of the Arab Spring and

his hope that it would advance

the common good.He prayed for

the resumption of peace talks

in the Middle East and for an

end to the bloodshed in Syria.

In Britain the leader of the world's Anglicans spoke about

the global financial crisis. He

had scathing words for the

behaviour of the banking sector

and he said this year's riots

in the UK reflected a society

that was flag meanted and dysfunctional. Flag meanted and dysfunctional. Bonds have

been broken, trust abused and

lost, whether its is an urban rioter mindlessly burning down a small shop that serves his

community or a speculator

turning his back on the

question of who bears the

ultimate cost for his AQIStive

adventure Ms The virtual

reality of today's financial world. No stranger to controversy he has been

unspoken in his support of the

occupy London protesters. Now

he is warned Britain could face

more unrest unless it considers

the social impact of its

austerity measures. The

Palestinian President attend ed midnight mass at the Church of

the Nativity in Bethlehem. He

prayed for reconciliation in

the Arab world following a year of revolutionary The first test

Australia and India is evenly

poised after a dramatic Boxing

Day at the MCG. After a bright

start the hosts recovered from

a middle order collapse to reach 6/277 by stumps. Under clearer skies Nan the previous evening Dean Jones handed Ed

Cowan his first test cap.

Australia won the toss and

elected to bat in front of a

contingent of away team fans

that would have put the Balmy

Army to shame. It was Dave

Warner making the early

statements. That is really out

of the middle. Things were

bright for India off the field.

On it Warner was lowering

India's colours. He has got

hold of that. He has smashed

that. A rain delay of little

more than two minutes broke his concentration. A little glove and out.Out straight away. Shaun Marsh followed with

a six-ball duck and Ricky

reception with India stealing

the first session momentum. 40

minutes were lost to rain after

lunch and Cowan and Ponting put

the foot down on resumption. He pulls away. Take that.This

really good for Ponting. The 50

partnership was followed by

individual half centuries first

for Ponting and then Cowan. 50

on Boxing Day. Just when a

comeback century looked a given

Ponting fell. He is gone. He is

gone this time. Michael Clarke

kept the healthy run rate going

after tea. That's gone away for

four. Just when the captain

looked settled he was gone for

31. He has dragged it on. I

think that was probably off his

glove. Zaheer Khan was on a

hat-trick when Hussey was controversially out caught

behind. He is not happy

Hussey. But there was no

doubting the fact Australia was in trouble

in trouble when Cowan departed

for 68 though he too looked to

have made no contact. Haddin

and Siddle steadied the innings

and built a steady partnership

to end day 1 on a positive

note. While oats 11 is going strong tonight leading the

Sydney to Hobart fleet down the

New South Wales coast. But the smooth sailing may not last

much longer with the same violent weather that hit

Melbourne expected at any time. It will make for

uncomfortable first night at It will make for an

sea. This was the calm after

the storm. This crew held their

nerve despite gear and some

crew members being left behind

in Melbourne. The weather gods

got us in Melbourne last night

on the plane. We have lost our

gear bags. We have people

borrowing and begging stuff. Some companies look like they

your whole preparation. It was might help us. It just

one of several crews caught

short by the weather and that

same storm cell is expected to

strike is the fleet tonight in.

The final weather briefing crews were told sought's

southerly could kick up gusts

of 40 knots with ex-Tropical

Cyclone Fina generating an

uncomfortable swe. High energy

swells coming in to make things

fairly roly over the course of

the day and the next two or

three days. That ex-cyclone is

not moving anywhere. It is a

little more extreme than it was

a few days ago. It will be

windier and tricker than -

there is a lot of potential

things could happen off Tasmania. It is a very

difficult race. With rough

conditions forecast the pre-race decision making

centred around which sails to

pack. As crews leave the dock

and farewell their families

they don't know when they will

arrive in Hobart but they know

this will be a challenge. It is

one of the most difficult

sailing events in the world. Before pushing off Wild Oats XI

had one final preparation. The

ashes of ABC chopper pilot Gary

ties hurt will be scattered

thought the journey. We will be

laying another wreath as we

sprinkle a bit more -

more of Gary's ashes. I will

jump in a chopper and do that

towards the end of the as well and another wreath

race. Around the harbour tens

of thousands of people

farewelled the fleet and made

the most of boxing day. It is lovely

lovely and a great place to sit

and watch the boats. A great

way to end the year.A momentary

glitch for Wild Oats XI at the race

race start at invest stek loyal briefly not front and a few close calls before with they

left the harbour. Out of the

heads the spinnakers were up

with the team keen the make the

most of a north-easterly breeze

before the southerly change. The change. The NBA season is finally under way after it was

delayed by a pay dispute

between players and team owners. LeBron James starred

with 37 points as the title

favourite Miami Heat began with

a win over the Dallas

Mavericks. The Chicago Bulls came from 11 points down in the

final minutes to beat the Los

Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant's shot for victory blocked.

blocked. The Lakers crosstown

rivals the LA Clippers faired

better with a win over the

Warriors. The Nicks defeated

the Celtics and the Oklahoma

City Thunder started the season

with victory over the Orlando Magic. It has been another wet

and stormy day around Canberra and a severe thunderstorm

warning was in place this

afternoon but tonight has been

cancelled. So that should be

the worst of it. There were

some heavy showers this

afternoon but nothing

officially in the rain gauge.

It was generally cooler with in the city and - 24 in the

city and 25 in Tuggeranong today.

That system over the Top End

has weakened but still looks

dramatic on the satellite

picture. While a low pressure

trough is leaving a band of

cloud over the interior and

through the south-east.That trough season hanging around

and it will link up with the

Northern Territory system

leaving us with unset leed

weather on and off all disrupt the cricket tomorrow:

That's the news for now. You

can keep up-to-date 24 hours a

day on ABC News online. Thanks

for your company, goodnight.

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