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ABC News -

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Tonight - the long goodbye.

North Korea's outpouring of

grief for its Dear Leader.

After the deluge, the Top End takes takes stock following devastating

devastating floods. 'Wild Oats

XI' and 'Investec Loyal' neck

and neck in the race to the

finish. The old stages put on

a century partnership but can

it save Australia? with ABC News. Good evening. Craig Allen

revered him as the Dear Leader

and praised him more like a God

than a head of state. Now at

Kim Jong-il's funeral, North

Koreans have been expressing

their grief with the same fer

vor. Two days of commemorations have begun in Pyongyang in

display which is also cementing have begun in Pyongyang in a

the succession of his son Kim

Jong-un. ABC correspondent

Stephen McDonnell reports from

Beijing. The State funeral of Kim Jong-il took place amontion

heavy snow and in freezing

conditions. The military, as

Korea, key power brokers in North

Korea, played a central role in

the ceremony. A motorcade made

its way through the streets of

Pyongyang. Thousands were there

to see it and as the coffin of

Kim Jong-il drove past, they were shown on North Korean

television wailing

uncontrollably. Even the local television

commentators were heard, barely able to control their emotion

s. TRANSLATION: Our great

leader who gave us everything,

who created the way to

prosperity, where are you going

now among this sea of white

snow? Saluting at the front of

his father's hearse was Kim

Jong-un, the new leader now

known as The Great Successor.

Also around the car were his

uncle and the army's chief of

staff. Two men who will join

him in running the country. I'm

here in Beijing because, like

the rest of the international

press corp, we have not been

allowed into Pyongyang for the funeral. Foreign governments

have also not been invited to send representatives to North

Korea for the key ceremonies. But people will be watching

proceedings closely to see if

North Korea might start to open

up under this family's generation of leadership. Yet

some analysts fear these

ceremonies have been closed to

outsiders to avoid them

observing potential tensions at

this time of leadership

transition. So it might take

some time yet before the world

gets an idea of North direction now that Kim Jong-il

has been sent off in such an

overwhelming fashion. has been sent off in such an

Darwin is still cut off from

the rest of the nation with no

freight or food coming in.

Flooding has damaged the

Northern Territory's major

tonight authorities are working highway and rail line and

to get a road open within 24 hours.

hours. It is mother nature in

all her fury. Bitumen stripped

away, blocks of cement weighing

more than a tonne thrown for

hundreds of metres. Train

carriages and containers now scattered everywhere. over the bridge when the wall of water struck. One minute

when were on road, the next

minute I was in up to my

thighs. The only reason I knew

water was there was because we

hit it and started fishtail ing

and thought we were going to roll the roll the car. Crews were out

early working to repair one

bridge so a lane can be open in

the next 24 to 48 hours for

traffic. It will be a lifeline

for those stranded including 40

Ghan passengers. The Northern Territory's Chief Minister

assessed the damage from the

air. He says authorities are

trying to get things moving as

soon as it is safe. We will be

in contact with the

Commonwealth authorities in

terms of emergency relief

funding. At the moment we have

engineers on site assessing

that damage. The railway bridge

has been hit hardest during the

flooding and could

structural damage. We are to repair due to major

putting additional resources into Katherine and Alice

Springs to facilitate the

freight availability for our

customers in order they can get

that freight through to Darwin. There are environmental

concerns as well. The train was

carrying copper concentrate, a toxic chemical that could have contaminated the Edith

River. It will present no

danger to livestock or

kangaroos or bird but may have

a toxic effect on animals like

invertebrate s on the bottom of

the stream. The driver of the

train remains in a stable

condition. The clean-up has

started but it could be some

time before this road is open.

Of course, the train track

which as you can see behind me

has had pieces torn from it.

The rail operator has agreed to Katherine. Darwin supermarkets

have already posted warning

signs advising customers of

possible food shortages. The Australian Transport Safety

Bureau has started

investigating the crash. As for

the weather system that caused

the devastation, ex-Tropical

over the Gulf and away. Cyclone Grant is heading east

A man has died and a woman

has been badly burned in

another house fire in

heard screams for help coming Queensland. Neighbours say they

Brisbane from the house at Runcorn in

Brisbane last night. The latest

tragedy comes after the family

of a well known Queensland chef

perished in a house fire on

Boxing Day. Imogen Brennan

reports. Smoke rises from the

shell of another burnt

home. When I saw this flames

coming out, I was completely terrified. I just heard

screaming and crying and the

next thing I heard was 'Help,

help, help'. Neighbours raced

woman in distress. There was a

lady on the ground with people

around her. She had jumped from

a second storey window to

escape the flames. Neighbours

poured water over her burnt

legs until paramedics

arrived By their swift action,

they may well have reduced her

time in hospital, definitely reduced her pain and suffering. Firefighters tried

in vain to get inside but the

intensity of the flames forced

them out. The female occupant

gave us information that made us believe we have grave

concerns for a person that may

be in the dwelling. A body believed to

believed to be the woman's

home this afternoon. It is partner was found inside the

believed the couple's

primary-school aged daughter

was overseas. Neighbours say

the couple was originally from

Japan and have been here

years. The damage to the du

plex is extensive. Half the

building has chanced. The

tragedy comes just days after

the family of well known chef

Matt Golinski died in a

Sunshine Coast house fire. He

remains in a critical but stable condition in

care with burns to almost half

his body. Neighbours of the Runcorn house say they are

starting to feel paranoid after

seeing so much tragedy close to

home. When I went to bed last night, I turned every power

point. I got petrified of

it. Authorities are urging the

public to check their smoke

alarms.

Search teams have spent the

day combing waters in the

Whitsundays passage looking for

a 31-year-old woman missing

since last night. She was swept

into the ocean when the fishing

boat they were on capsized in rough seas near Whitsunday

Island. A nearby boat was used

to rescue 11 others but the

woman couldn't be found. The

search is continuing for the

woman who was from Ingleburn innin in

innin in NSW. The main focus of

the search today initially is

land fall #5r7b the area in

case she was able to get to

land fall and is waiting rescue. Marine authorities warn land fall and is waiting for

unsettled boating conditions

are expected to continue along

the North Queensland coast for

some time. Watpac says it is

flabbergasted it wasn't told

the full extent of the asbestos lurking in Sydney's Museum of

Contemporary Art. Watpac is

under attack from the construction union after the ABC revealed 400 workers may

have been exposed to the deadly substance during refurbishment

at the site. The union insists

the company and WorkCover have

been covering up the potential

health dangers. Work at the stopped for Christmas and New

Year but the argument over the

project continues

apace. Everybody knows if you

have a building built in 1953

you understand it must contain

asbestos. Three times asbestos

has been discovered on the

site. The first time was before the refurbishment began and it

was removed. But it was found

again in June, then early this month.

month. That means 400 workers may have been exposed

unprotected for more than a year. There

year. There is more than 400

people, let's be honest,

because these workers are going

home on public transport, where

they could be affecting the

general public, take it home to

their wives and kids on their clothing. You would think in

this day and age, a decade long

campaign about asbestos and the

dangers of still cannot through to some construction

companies. Watpac says it has

done all it can to protect its workers and WorkCover agrees. Any time we are aware

of asbestos the area is

immediately isolated and no

workers are allowed within the

violent of that area. - vicinity of that vicinity of that area. The company concedes it is amazed

the initial search before work

began found so little. I am

flabbergasted that hygiene

ists' reports can be

wrong. Work is due to resume on

site on Monday. The union site on Monday. The union says its workers won't go anywhere

near areas of concern until a comprehensive inspection is

done and all asbestos re moved.

Arab League monitors

investigating the violence in

Syria have made their first

foray outside the capital

Damascus. They travelled to the

city of Homs, the birth place of dissent against the Assad

regime. When they got there,

the observers were surrounded

by protesters who begged them

to take action to stop the

correspondent Anne Barker. The crackdown. Middle East

Arab League delegation sparked

massive protests on the streets. Around 50,000 streets. Around 50,000 Syrians

turned out in Homs. This is the

town which has borne much of

the brunt of the uprising where

countless numbers have been killed or wounded.

As they followed the

observers past shelled and

shattered buildings and down bloodstained street, some

protesters were desperate to

show the brutality they have

endured. Many pleaded with them

for foreign help to stop the

continuing bloodshed. One

amateur video reports to show tanks on the

streets of Homs until just

before the observers

arrived. TRANSLATION: Now the regime has hidden the tanks

because you are there. By

coming here you are protecting

the people. The people see good

things in you and we hope you are up to the responsibility. The Syrian

Government still blames armed

gangs for inciting the nine months of violence and says many of those killed were

members of the security forces. The Arab League delegation wants to see for itself.

Although human rights activists

are sceptical about what they

can achieve. Another 500 Arab

League monitors are expected in

Syria over the next month.

Thousands of Israelis have

staged a rally near Jerusalem

in protest at the treatment of

women by some ultra-orthodox Jews. The demonstration was

held in the town of Beit

Shemesh. People Shemesh. People carried banners saying 'Free Israel From Coercion' and 'Stop Israel

Becoming Iran'. Many

ultra-orthodox in the town want

to segregate men and women and

impose their own moral code.

The rally was held after an 8-year-old girl said she was spat at for wearing clothing

deemed to be immodest. Prince

Philip is back where he wants

to be - with the Queen and the

rest of the Royal family at Sandringham. He was finally

allowed home after four nights

in hospital recovering from

surgery on a blocked artery in

his heart. Palace officials

travelling with him said he was

in a cheerful mood despite missing the Christmas celebrations. After his 90th

birthday in June, the Duke of

Edinburgh vowed to cut back on

his schedule but there has been

no word on how the latest

health scare will affect his

a hectic period for emergency services on the South services on the South Coast.

The region holds the unenrabble

veebl record of the highest

drowning rate in NSW. Rescuers

have been called to nearly 30

incidents including this

morning. A 38-year-old man from

Sydney was pulled unconscious

from the surf at North Kendall Beach near Kiama. Members of

the public pulled him out from

the water and commenced CPR. It

was very fortunate for the man

a doctor happened to be on the

beach at the time. He was later

airlifted to hospital. He was

in and out of consciousness.

Very very close. Had CPR not

been commenced immediately, it could have been a very different outcome. 45 people

were rescued from wild surf Statewide yesterday. The most

serious here at Moruya Heads

where three kayaks where three kayaks overturned.

A strong current sucked a

Wollongong father and his two

children 400m out children 400m out to sea. Rescuers found the 40-year-old

man and his 8-year-old daughter

clinging to one of the upturned

kayaks. A nearby surfer found

the 10-year-old boy on the

river bank. They were distressed, suffering from hypothermia,

hypothermia, and as there were young children, they were

extremely scared and parents

worried about worried about their

children. By the time the other

kayaks were found, they had

been swept 2km out to sea. Your gut

gut just sinks. It is a very emotional time and you just

wonder how the families are

going to react. There have been 16 deaths from drowning

Statewide since July. Statewide since July. Six occurred in the Eurobodalla

Shire between Bateman's Bay and

Narooma. Two drowned in rip

currents and four were involved

in a bat cap size and not

wearing life jackets. You have

to swim between the flags, not

only for your safety but mine.

Boaties, we have had four

people die worse than pulling a

12-year-old dead girl out of

the water. With wild surf

forecast for the rest of the

week, many South Coast beaches will stay closed.

E. Coli has been detected in

Braidwood's water after power was cut to

water supply plant. At the peak

of the holiday season, tourists

and residents are having to

boil all drinking water to kill

bacteria. It has been an inconvenience for businesses

along the main street who rely

on the post-Christmas traffic

heading to the coast. We made

sure we put signs up all round

the place to let the customers

know when they came in they had

to be careful about not drinking the tap water. The

main chlorination site lost

power after a lightning strike

causing E. Coli levels to rise. There have been no reports of

any health problems. The spring

sunshine was scarce but the

visitors to this

fears the rain would deter the

crowds to this year's Canberra

flower festival but 412,000

people still passed through the

turnstiles this year, the

second highest attendance on

record. But the rain did keen

people away from NightFest with

7,000 fewer visitors compared

to last year. It is estimated

the event inject ed $30 million into the ACT economy and

attracted more than 125,000

interstate and international tourists. The ACT Government

says it is working on a wet

weather plan to make the event

less reliant on the weather.

The Christmas break hasn't eased

eased investor anxiety about

Europe. Markets were weaker as

Italy looks to raise more money. Here is Phillip

Lasker. These days there are

few things more frightening

than a European country trying to raise money, to raise money, particularly when it is one of biggest debt markets like

Italy. Italy's hoping to raise

a few billion Euros overnight

and then some more the

following day so people are a little edgy to say the least.

Here is an anxiety gauge.

Italy's 10-year bond rate is

back at the 7% mark. The level that triggered bail-outs for

Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

So, the Euro remains under pressure but the Australian

dollar is weaker against the

other major currencies. That

anxiety over Europe and weaker

US house prices triggered a

sell-off in some key commodity

s like copper and gold. It took its toll. Australian shares,

bear in mind trading is very

thin this time of the year so

it doesn't take much to move

the market. All the big banking and resource stocks,

particularly gold were down.

For what it is worth, which

isn't much, Arc Exploration

shares fell 10% to 0.9 of a

cent on that tragic news

surrounding its Indonesian project. Sure Italy may fashion giant and make sexy

cars but we have a lower

10-year bond rate. At under 4%,

the bond rate has never been

lower. Concerned investors are

pulling money out of Europe and

putting money in Australia

because of our credit rating, resources business and China

links. Bond yields are

considered a good indicator of

economic performance so falling

rates can be signalling a much

weaker economy ahead. That's finance. The Boxing Day Test match looks to be headed

towards a gripping conclusion

after a dramatic third day of

play at the MCG which saw 15

wickets fall. India and

Australia both suffered batting

collapses. At stumps Australia

had reached 8/179 to lead by 230 runs overall. With Michael Hussey with the standout

performer. The theme of the

morning's session was clearly

things tumblings. things tumblings. First it was commentators. Then wickets. Rahul Dravid was out from the

second ball of the day. Got

him! He has knocked

him. Laxman departed soon after

for two. Virat Kohli offered

little resistance. By the time Hilfenhaus claimed his fourth wicket and wicket and the Indian captain, the tourists were in free-fall.

Things got even better for the

Tasmanian with the removal of

night watchman Sharma. Five

wickets in Test cricket for

Hilfenhaus for the first time. Ashwin reduced the

deficit with a late flourish

but India lost 8/68 to be 282

all out. After lunch, a

stifling passage of disciplined

bowling reaped rewards with

Warner losing patience. Ed

Cowan was fooled. He has got

two. Shaun Marsh's Test

comeback proved one to The top order collapse was

complete soon after with

Clarke's departure. Another

one. It brought together the

two under-pressure veterans and

Michael Hussey wasn't going to

die wondering, nor was Ricky Ponting. That's a glorious die wondering, nor was Ricky

stroke. The counterattack continued after

raised the battle for his

second half century of the

match. Hussey's 50 followed in

the next over before a

comfortable 115-run partnership

was suddenly shattered. Can can

. The pendulum looked to have

swung with Haddin's departure. Although Peter Siddle and

Nathan Lyon fell late, with

Hussey still at the crease, it

is very much an even con

test. After two days and seven

hours, the finish of the Sydney

to Hobart yacht race has come

down to a drag race up the Derwent River. 'Investec Loyal'

has just crossed about minutes ahead of 'Wild Oats

XI'. At the mouth of the

Derwent River, only a few

hundred metres separated the

two super maxies. The pair

raced for the line in a dying

sea breeze. 'Investec Loyal'

held the lead as the pair

charged up the river. It was

one of the closest finishes in the history of the event, but

as the excitement built, a

number of yacht crews were dealing with the disappointment

of retiring. Amy Bainbridge

reports on how today's events

unfolded. From the air early

this morning, the leaders were

hard to split. It emerged bad

weather for 'Wild Oats XI' meant 'Investec Loyal' was able

to make up 20 nautical miles to

overtake the race

favourite. Got caught under

favourite. Got caught under a

big cloud and the guys came in

from offshore and were able to

avoid the big cloud so we sat

under it while they caught 'Investec Loyal' jostled down Tasmania's east coast in a

light northerly breeze. The

lead changed several times in

the morning as the race became

increasingly tactical. Amid the

drama, 'Wild Oats XI' paused

taking time to remember ABC

chopper pilot Gary scattering his ashes into the

ocean. A lack of wind made for

a slow afternoon until the

boats rounded Tasman Island. As

the breeze kicked up, the tactical battle was on in

earnest. Not all eyes were on

the finish line. Some crews

were heading back to where it

all started. 'Wild Thing'

arrived back in Sydney. Its

skipper left to ponder his bad fortune. This is the eighth

race this boat has done, we

have made it to Hobart five out

of eight. That's not too bad.

Plenty of people had a lot

worse record than that. Some

won't make it out of Eden for

days. Others will repair the

damage and push on

but a lot of blokes in their

first Hobart so I would like to

finish just for those guys. 'Loki', Alexandr

Dolgopolov and 'Jazz' are

fighting - 'Living Doll' and

'Jazz' are fighting it out. It

has been a tough day sailing in

the two Melbourne to Hobart

races. There is a three-way

battle in the east coast event.

'Gusto' holds a slender lead

over 'Gold finger'. With light

winds forecast, the yachts are

unlikely to finish before New

Year's Eve.

Everyone loves a good croc

story particularly if the star

of the piece is called Elvis.

The 5m saltie is one of the

main attractions at the

Australian Reptile Park near Gosford. But this morning snapped leaving the crowd to wonder whether he was serious

or just putting on a show. Let

it go, let it go. But Elvis the

croc had other ideas.

Apparently it is not the first

time he has tried to snatch the

lawnmower and this time the

keepers happened to catch it on camera. He has chased us around

the enclosure a few times but

hasn't had the chance to grab

the mower until this

morning. Once he grabbed it,

Elvis held it hostage savouring the

the prize which came at a cost.

He lost two teeth in the

assault. How to rescue the

mower? The plan is to get the

mower out firstly. Try and drag

it backwards, lure the croc

around the other side because

he has dropped two monstrous

teeth and get the teeth

out. The trick was to distract

Elvis long enough so they

offered up a big feed of

kangaroo meat. It was game as the mower was final yes

retrieved We are not sure why

they are so big. Look at that

next to an arm. A flooded

engine means the victimised

Victa won't run again. Reptile keepers say that's

feeling proud of himself. That's a problem for us

us because to him he just won.

When we get in there to feed

him later, he is going to be a different crocodile to yesterday. He will be the

king. Elvis won't need his lawn

mown for another week, giving

staff time to recover from

being all shook up. Now to tonight's weather with Mark

Carmody. He loves a good

landscaping job. I have been

attacked by a cook bura but

never a croc. Thanks Craig,

good evening. It was cloudier

than I expected today and hung

tarn for most of the - around

for most of the day. Also surprising was a couple of

millimetres of rain that fell

early this morning. Just over

two at the airport. Cloud associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Grant is

lingering over the Gulf lingering over the Gulf and

Cape yorg York and cloud over central Queensland has the

potential to generate thundery

showers. The rest of Australia

is mostly clear. For all of you

who want some temperatures, the high crossing

the Bight will give you some especially by the weekend when

there will be a wind change.

Around the capitals tomorrow:

The flower is a Zantedeschia,

or Calla Lily. Thank you for

that. Before we go, a brief

recap of our top stories

tonight - two days of funeral

ceremonies have begun for the

North Korean dictator Kim

Jong-il. Amid a public

outpouring of grief, the

showpiece event cement the succession of his showpiece event also aims to

son Kim Jong-un. 'Investec

Loyal' has taken line honours in the Sydney to Hobart yacht

race in the closest finish

since 1982. The favourite,

'Wild Oats XI', came second in

a reversal of last year's result. That's the news for

now. You can keep up to date 24

hours a day on ABC News online.

Stay with us now for '7:30'

with Scott Bevan. Thanks for

your company, goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned

Live. Welcome to 7:30, I'm

Scott Bevan. Tonight - the

Australian MS sufferer who say

the controversial treatment

changed her life. Now she's

lobbying to make it more

available but many doctors

remain sceptical. I walked

halfway around Europe for three

weeks. I couldn't believe it. I

really didn't think I'd ever be

able to do that. There's no

real evidence, evidence that it works. And

eureka, the hidden treasure discovered underneath the

council car park. It's wooden,

so there's a good sign there's another ship wreck here. cause and proposed surgical

treatment of multiple sclerosis

is putting the patients who