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Tonight - conspirecy theory,

accusations that a top Liberal

colluded to slip up the

Speaker. Tensions remain

despite a way out for China's

blind dissident. Reinventing Canberra's history, right in

the heart of suburbia. And

claims of a secret deal to send

Nick D'arcy to London. There

was no deal done with anyone

about anything. Good evening,

Craig Allen with ABC News. The

scandal that threatened to undo

the Government is now engulfing

the Opposition. The Liberals

have been accused of

orchestrating the downfall of

the embattled speaker. It's

been revealed a former Howard

government minister had a

series of meetings with Peter

Slipper's staffer. Mal Brough

says there's no conspirecy but

the Government says it's a

Coalition cover up. Former Howard Government cabinet

minister Mal Brough wants Peter

Slipper's seat in Queensland.

So why did he meet more than

once with Mr Slipper's staffer

James Ashby and advise him to

go to the police with claims

against his boss of sexual

harassment and taxi voucher

rorting? Do we show him the

door? Do we say go tell someone

who cares? Or do we say here's

an individual, yes, I

understand the political pain

myself and my wife may end up

suffering but what's the

position here? He didn't with

him once, twice but at least

three times and provided advice

to Mr Ashby. If Peter Slipper

loses his job as Speaker the

Gillard Government could be

destabilised. Well the plot

thickens. I think there are

even more questions that now

have to be answered by Mr

Abbott, Mr Pyne and Mr Brough. Tony Abbott and

Christopher Pyne have denied

they had any specific knowledge

of Mr Ashby's allegations

before they were aired publicly

and according to a newspaper

report last week Mal Brough

dismissed as nonsense

suggestions he too was aware of

those allegations. Now he says

he only denied having seen Mr

Ashby's affidavit. What I was

asked as direct questions and I

answered them. They have been

carefully selecting their words

so as to conceal their knowledge of this matter before

it turned up in the

newspaper. The Foreign Minister

tweets Mr Ashby seems more

rehearsed than a kabuki actor.

The question of whether he was

actually working for Mr Slipper

who defected from the Liberal

National Party or Mr Brough

who's seeking LNP preselection

gets even more confusing. The

staffer was uploading material

about another LNP hopeful Peter

Simpson. And there's another

complication. Mal Brough's

credibility isn't being helped

by reports from at least two

sources that claims against him

of wrong doing during recent

local elections have been

referred to Queensland's crime and misconduct commission and

to the police. There are no CMC

inquiries against me, none, and

there are no police investigations. Meanwhile

there's still the question of

whether Slipper is guilty. You

under criminal investigation have the Speaker of the House

appointed by the Prime

Minister. No wonder people are

judgment of the Prime asking questions about the

Minister. But although the

Opposition may have been hoping

the Government would be tripped

up by the scandal, at the

moment the slipper seems to be

on the other foot. Two Australian special forces soldiers have been seriously

wounded by a concealed home

made bomb in Afghanistan. One

other Australian and two

coalition soldiers received

minor wounds. Despite the

attack the operation was

considered a success, achieving

its objective of finding and

destroying narcotics and

weapons in Helmand

province. The wounded soldiers

were evacuated by hol

helicopter and are currently

receiving care in ISAF medical

facilities. All are being

satisfactory medical currently assessed as being

condition. Two of the soldiers

may have to be flown home to

Australia for further

treatment. After days of

uncertainty it seems a blind

Chinese dissident is about to

get permission to leave his

country. Chen Guangcheng has

been offered a fellowship to

study at a New York university.

But the diplomatic deal has

done little to ease tensions

between Beijing and Washington. China correspondent Stephen

McDonnell reports. The United

States Embassy car arrived at

Chen Guangcheng's hospital. An

American doctor and treans

translator were being allowed

in to see the injured dissident who started this diplomatic

storm. Despite an apparent deal

in place tensions remained

high. Dozens of foreign

reporters who witnessed this

moment have been threatened

with expulsion from China if

they reenter the hospital

grounds. The authorities don't

want more protestors arriving

in support of Mr Chen. Those

who do are quickly taken

away. This blind activist who

escaped home detention left the

protection of the US Embassy

earlier this week while

receiving hospital treatment he

said he feared for his safety

and wanted the Americans to get

him out of the country. Then

last night there was a new

US/China deal.

TRANSLATION: According to

China's law he's a normal

citizen. He can apply to study abroad by going through the

usual proceed urs. The US

Government now says if China

can organise passports it will

supply visas for him and his

family as a priority. This is

not just about well known

activists, it's about the human

rights and aspirations of more

than a billion people here in

China and billions more around

the world. A key player in this

deal is a world authority on

Chinese law who knows Chen

Guangcheng. Professor Jerome

Cohen has convinced New York

University, where he's a lecturer, to give the activist

a fellowship. I like the

Chinese expression act flexibly

according to the circumstances

and that's what we're doing and

so is the Chinese

Government. Attention remains

focused on this hospital where

Chen Guangcheng is still

receiving treatment. He's

expected to be discharged over

the coming days. In the

meantime now that Hillary

Clinton has left the country

his supporters are trying to

maintain pressure so as to make

sure that China upholds its end

of the deal. Voters in Britain

have punished the conservative

and Liberal Democrat parties

voting them out by the hundreds

in local government elections.

But London mayor Boris Johnson

survived the electoral rout

surviving a second term as the

country's most prominent local

official. Candidate Ken

Livingston made the recession

an issue but Boris Johnson said

his conservative policies were

needed in tough economic

times. Thank you very, very

much everybody, and may the

force be with you. Mr Johnson

will remain mayor for the limb

pix. The win has added to

speculation he could be a

future conservative

leader. Conrad Black has been

released from jail after

serving 3 years. The grounds of

his estate in Canada were a

dramatic change from the prison

cell he had been occupies.

Black's media empire once

included Fairfax Media in

Australia, the Chicago sun

'Times' the Jerusalem Post. He

was first convicted in 2007 but

was released on bail to mount

an appeal which overturned some

of the charges and halved his

original 6-year sentence. It's

been a political football for

decades, now the Federal

Government says work to widen the Pacific the Pacific Highway could be

finished in 4 years. It's

setting aside $3.5 billion in

Tuesday's Budget but there's a

catch, the money will only be

available if the NSW Government

agrees to match the amount.

After years of political

rhetoric, the Federal

Government says it's committed

to finishing work on the

Pacific Highway by 2016. We

know that this infrastructure

investment is an investment in

national productivity but also

an investment in safety on our

roads. $3.5 billion has been

set aside in next week's Budget

to finish the road duplication,

a move which should satisfy

federal independent MP and

Member for Lyne Rob

Oakeshott. We've seen

governments come and go alongside completion dates come

and go. We will deliver the

Pacific Highway by 2016. For

now the Gillard Government says

it has the money but only if

the State Liberal Government

matches its commitment. A

commitment it says Barry O'Farrell's happy to spruik before the last State

election. We're not going to

stand idly by and watch

Government ignore funding needs

on roads where too many people

are being killed. But the NSW

laibl d Liberals say the

goalposts have moved and the

former State Labor Government

had a deal to contribute 20%

not 50. We entered into what we

thought was the same agreement

until December last year when

Anthony Albanese changed the rules. The Transport Minister

says the 80/20 deal was part of

the Government's stimulus package during the global financial crisis. He says he

will be astonished if Premier

Barry O'Farrell doesn't step up

to the mark. And further

inaction, he says, could be

fatal. Delays lead to tragedies

on our roads. We're way beyond

the time frame in which it

should have been built and the

longer we wait the more lives

will be lost. The NRMA says it

hopes the State Government can

find the money in next month's

budget. It's urging both

governments to do whatever it

takes to meet the 2016

completion target. The Federal

Government budget will also

contain $50 million for bowel

cancer screening. The money

will be spent over 4 years to

extend the national program to

people turning 60 and 70 years

old. At the moment screening is

free for 50, 55 and

65-year-olds. The extra money

will also allow more regular

screening from every 5 years to

every 2 years for those in the

target age groups. The

Treasurer says while the Budget

is tight his own brush with

prostate cancer stopped him

from slashing front line health

services. Now this is a bit

personal for me. I'm a cancer

survivor. I'm a beneficiary of

early detection. Bowel cancer

is the second largest cause of

cancer deaths in Australia but

survival rates dramatically

improve to 90% if it's caught

early. Sydney police say

they've struck a major blow

against a sophisticated crime

syndicate linked to the wave of

driveby shootings in the city's south-west. Officers carried

out 5 coordinated raids in the

area yesterday afternoon. 7 men

were arrested including 1 who

ran away but was caught by a

police dog. Police say they

seized methamphetamine s with a

street value of $500,000, they

also found 1,000 ecstasy tablets. Send a strong message

to people involved not only in

drug crime, driveby shooting

and criminal activities that

the NSW police force will

continue to target you and arrest you and place you before

the courts. An 8th man was

arrested on board a flight

after it was landed in Sydney.

The 8 have been charged with

supplying drugs. A few old

homesteads that give a hint of Canberra's pastoral past are

scattered through the suburbs

saved from the bulldozers but

how to make them useful in a

contemporary city. Historic

Gungaderra homestead now lies

in the midoffal gang Lin and

sh dsh Gungahlin and in its

latest reinvention it's become

a local art gallery. A relic of

the 19th century the

surrounding paddocks are long

gone. These days the heritage

listed Gungaderra homestead is

swimming in a sea of suburban

progress but despite being a

century old it's still alive

with activity. That's quha

makes it so attractive. A

number of groups said to us we

could meet in a local hall or

someone's house or a club but

coming to a building like this

which is over 100 years old

makes it extra special. It was converted into a community

centre giving it a new lease on

life. It's been used for the

men's shed health program held

in this stunningly authentic

shed and for a community

garden. The latest

reincarnation - art gallery. Local artists have been invited

to use the space to display

their wares. As an artist it's

always hard to show art without

paying lots of dollars to lodge

an exhibition. This is one way of having it here

24/7. Creative types say it's

ideally suited to the

purpose. It's such a gorgeous

homestead. It has beautiful

walls, it has the most gorgeous

feel to it. I believe this

room used to be a bedroom so

it's really nice to see

beautiful artwork on a bedroom wall. The group running the

centre want to hear more ideas

about ways to use the old house

to benefit the burgeoning

community. So what we've had is

quite a lot of demand from the

local population who probably

don't have as many community

facilities as they need. Some

just need a break from the

modern world. It's really

lovely to see all these buildings preserved and not

just knocked down for more

units. A cultural oasis in the

middle of suburbia. The

country's top bio diversity

scientists have taken their

search for new species to a

remote part of the Northern

Territory. So far they've had

success. Fish River Station

south of Darwin has proved to

be a perfect hunting ground for

creatures never seen

before. This dense and in hos

pitable country teems with

quirky, undiscovered creatures

and it's got scientists very

excited. They've spent two

weeks using helicopters and

boats to reach every point of

this conservation reserve which

was destock and protected last year. Fascinating stuff. This

massive flood plain that's been

dominating the environment and

trying to extract the gems out

of the system. Spider scientist

Robert Raven has had a

particularly good run finding

19 new Kreepy Kraulies

including the four-eyed spider,

goblin spieders and sac

spiders. This is just totally

shocking where I found them.

I'm just why are you here sort

of thing. How did you survive

all that flooding. And why did

you get where you are. But the

top find is this delightful

creature. Those are long fangs.

Zwr It's a new type of

tarantula which may be an Asian

subvariety. The tarantula world

will be excited. In the rivers

the fish team found about 25 different species but this

small swimmer is the talk about

camp. The most exciting was the

smallest species we found

called a blue eye and it gets

to 2 to 3 cm but the form we

found in the Daly catchment is

a yellowy golden colour which

might be different to elsewhere

so watch this space. The

researchers say about 75% of

Australia is still home to

unknown species. So far the

bush blitz program has managed

to track down 600 of them at 14

different sites across

Australia. But the search is

never ending and the team plan

to return to the Territory

soon. One of the most decisive battles of World War II has

been commemorated in Brisbane.

It's the 70th anniversary of

the battle of the Coral Sea and

US President Barack Obama has

sent one of his key cabinet

ministers to underline the continuing strength of the

military alliance between

Australia and the US. The

battle of the Coral Sea has been remembered in Brisbane

ever year since World War II

ended. But this year with added

style. The US President had

sent his Secretary for Homeland

Security carrying a letter officially honouring the

alliance that was forged in

that battle 70 years ago. For

many Australians the battle of

the Coral Sea was the battle

that saved the country. It was

the largest naval battle ever fought off Australia's

shores. It was the first naval

battle where the aircraft

delivered all the damage. The

ships never came within range

of each other's gunfire. The

allies had the advantage of

radar but still they lost 3

ships and almost 600 lives. We

will never forget their

sacrifice and we will always

honour the legacy of those who

fought to keep us free. The

battle of the Coral Sea was

effectively the start of a

relationship formalised in 1951

as the ANZUS treaty. The United

States has no stronger ally

than Australia . The battle was particularly significant for

Australia. Just six months

after Pearl Harbour at a time

when the Japanese seemed

invincible. The battle of the

Coral Sea was the first

occasion that the Japanese's

south ward push was impeded.

Each year there are fewer

veterans of the US aircraft

carrier the 'Lexington' which

was so badly damaged it had to

be skut scuttled. Only two of

us this time. It's a long trip

and most of the older fellows

can't make it anymore. But even

when they're all gone Australia

will still remember the battle

that began to turn the tide.

The controversial swimmer Nick

D'arcy is back in the headlines

over claims he was offered a

secret deal to allow him to go

to the London Olympics.

Swimming Australia has denied

the report but has revived

questions about whether the

butterfly star deserves to

represent Australia as the

ABC's Olympic reporter Ben

Knight reports. When Nick

D'arcy blitzed the field at the

Olympic trials back in March he

set the fastest time in the

world this year but most of all

he booked his long dreamed of

ticket to the Olympic Games.

Four years ago he was dropped

from the Beijing team for his

brutal assault on fellow

swimmer Simon Cowley in a

Sydney nightclub. For Nick

D'arcy this must have felt like

redemption but not everybody

was celebrating. In particular,

Simon Cowley, who is still owed

thousands of dollars in damages

from Nick D'arcy who has since

declared bankruptcy. Now Simon

Cowley claims Nick D'arcy was

offered a deal by swim

Swimming Australia to allow him

to compete in London if he

agreed not to take legal action

against Swimming Australia.

Swimming Australia deny that

completely. There was no deal

done as far as I am concerned and any deals done would have

to come to the board and that

wasn't the case. Whatever the case Nick D'arcy is back where

he doesn't want to be, at the

centre of a controversy over

whether he deserves to

represent Australia at the

Olympic Games. Back in March he

was asked that very question

after his qualifying

swim. People have a right to

their opinion and I'm not going

to tell people what to think

and all I can do is control

what I can control. And

Swimming Australia is in a

place it would rather not be,

defending its decision to

select Nick D'arcy. He's served

his time and we believe he was

eligible for selection for

these Olympics. The Australian Olympic committee always said

it would follow the advice of

Swimming Australia when it came

to Nick D'arcy's selection. We

are satisfied that he's learnt

his lesson and that he understands the standards

required to be a member of our

team. It's a view not everybody

shares. St George Illawarra's

Matt Prior became the first

play tore be sent off this

season when he was dismissed

for a high shot on Johnathon

Thurston in the Dragon's loss

to the Cowboys. The Bulldogs

continued the Eels' woes while

the Warriors have upset the

Broncos. It was the sort of

incident where no-one was a

winner. Cowboys and Queensland

coaching staff held their

breath as Johnathon Thurston

lay on the ground. The Dragons

knew there would be a Prior

conviction. There it is, he's

straight off. No explanation

needed. That's not his go so it

was a very unfortunate

incident. He's very apologetic

in the dressing sheds. The

the field and didn't groggy Cowboys' cocaptain left

return. He's OK. In the sheds

I've had a chat to him. He said

he doesn't have any headaches

or anything. Earlier Thurston

had been instrumental as North

Queensland made a scintillating

start. All the party tricks

were coming out as the home

team led 22-0 at the break.

The points slowed after

Thurston's departure but the

Cowboys still won easily. As

did the Bulldogs who saw off a

promising start from the Eels before unleashing some of the

most exciting football of the

season. Chris Keating had a

night out against his old team

as Canterbury collected 5 tries

in 16 minutes to end the

contest. Parramatta has made

its worst start to the season

in 52 years while the Bulldogs

are starting to resemble the

entertainers of the late 1970s

and early '80s. The explosive

pace of Warriors' half-back

Shaun Johnson caught out the

Broncos early in the game in

Auckland. The visitors

answered with two tries of

their own before New Zealand

dominated the rest of the first

half. Different season, same

result. The Queanbeyan

Kangaroos defeated rivals the

Queanbeyan Blues by 4 points in

today's grand final rematch.

The Kangaroos held the lead for

most of the match but were

forced to hang on in the final

seconds to secure the 18-14

victory. Sporting rivallies

exist on many scales. In

Queanbeyan the local rugby

league sides the Kangaroos and

the Blues fight for bragging

rights. Their clashes are

physical battles with close

finishes. Today at Seaford Oval

nothing changed. In a scrappy

opening 20 minutes neither side

could muster any momentum but

against the run of play Blues

Scott Kalzbeck scored to gain

the early lead. It was only a

matter of time before the more

experienced Kangaroos side got

ahead. Two quick tries before

half time gave them a 6-point

lead at the break and it could

have been more if it wasn't for

the post. The Kangaroos

threatened to break the game

open when Richard Kelly went

over shortly after half time.

The Blues hit straight back

though through Denis Gordon.

And narrowed the margin to

just 4 points late in the

match. But when the final play

was defused by the Kangaroos

the men in maroon walked away

victors. The Brumbies may have

started the season as the

underdogs but teams have underestimated them at their

own peril. In just a few

minutes the ACT side will come

up against their arch rivals

the Waratahs in a blockbuster

match up at Canberra Stadium. A

win tonight would serve to

cement their standing at the top of the Australian

conference ladder. Last night

the Melbourne Rebels continued

to improve giving the Bulls a

real fright. In an entertaining

spectacle each side crossed the

try line 8 times but it was the

super boot of Morne Steyn which

proved the difference in the

44-35 victory. I'm really proud

of the guys. We really stuck at

that. At sometimes in the first

half it looked like they were

going to pull away from us but

we dug in, played some really

good rugby. The Rebels

performance was led by a

powerhouse effort by Kurtley

Beale who staked a claim for

the Wallabies number 10 jersey.

In round 5 of the local rugby

competition a second-half

fightback from Uni Norths came

too late as the Ols lost by 7

to Wests.

In the AFL it was a predictable afternoon of

results with Essendon and

Geelong notching regulation

victories over their less

fancied rivals. The Cats

continued Melbourne's awful

start to the season at Kardinia

Park. While the Bombers were

far too good for Brisbane. And

Fremantle and Gold Coast are

involved in a nail-biter. At

the Docklands a brutal hiding

looked very much on the cards

as Essendon kicked the first 5

goals in rapid time. The Lions

kicked their share of majors in

an entertaining first quarter

which delivered 76 points. That

was probably overstating it,

the Bombers explosive opening was enough to ensure that

Brisbane was unlikely to ever

really threaten and the result

wouldn't be in doubt.

And while things stayed

suitably entertaining in the

first half both sides seemed

all kicked out after the main

break and the latter stages

were punctuate ed by few

scoring shots. Brisbane managed

just 2 second half goals and

looked to be in for a fairly long season while Essendon did

what they had to and remained

top 4 contenders. Stuart

Camry's 4 goals all came in the

fourth quarter while . For the

Lions it was a familiar story

with Simon Black and Jonathan

Brown doing much of the work in

the midfield and in front of

goal. It was quickly evident

at ka dinnia park there would

be no 186-point mauling like

the last meeting between these

sides. But it was also evident

after not too much longer that

it wasn't going to be

particularly close and Geelong

was in for a fairly comfortable

afternoon. The Demons fought

hard but were no match for the

occasional brilliance of the

Cats. Steve Johnson leading the

way with 34 disposals and 3

goals. Mitch Clarke's 4 goals

were brave but the Demons now

have the stark reality of a

zero and 6 start to 2012. Are

Geelong as good as they were?

Probably not but as long as the

Cats keep winning more than

they lose it doesn't really

matter all that much. In the north-eastern football league a

final quarter blitz from

Eastlake saw the Demons run

over Ainslie by 44 points:

American Nathan Fletcher has

taken out the ride of the year

category at the annual big wave

awards in California. Fletcher

picked up almost $50,000 for

taking on this monster at

Teahupoo in Tahiti. Garrett

McNamara is familiar with the

hietion and lows of his

profession. The Hawaiian was

veck tor yous in the big wave

category for his wave in

Portugal. It was a chilly night

in Canberra. In fact it got

down to minus 2 at the airport

but it turned out to be a

ripper of a morning warm enough

for shirt sleeves on the side

lines of weekend sport. This

afternoon things got a bit

cloudy but it stayed dry and

reached 16. It was fine and

mostly sunny through the local


There's a bit of coastal

cloud and a pool of cold air

through the State's inland

reaching over Victoria and

Tasmania. A high pressure

system is the main feature on

the chart but a low deep in the

Southern Ocean will bring a

cold front sweeping towards us

later in the new week. In the

eastern States tomorrow:

That's the latest from the

Canberra news room. I'm Craig

Allen. Thanks for your company, goodnight. Closed Captions by