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Live. Tonight, denial and

attack. Craig Thomson points

the fingers at his accusers.

What you have done is not just

damage to an individual or

their family. You've damaged

committed to democracy. Australia remains

Afghanistan. Closed for

longer. The damage at Taylor

Primary School is worse than

first thought. And the death of

a be gee. The music world

mourns a 70s disco legend. Good

evening. Siobhan Heanue with

ABC News. He's had almost four

years to state his case and

today in parliament Craig

Thomson finally did. The former

Labor MP said he was set up,

that investigators were biased

against him, but above all he

denied any wrongdoing as Health

Services Union secretary. Our

coverage tonight begins with

Mark Simkin at Parliament chief political correspondent

House. This speech was three

years in the making and nearly

60 minutes in the telling.

Given it referred to identity

theft, death threats and

prostitution, it's unlikely parliament's ever seen anything

like it. I give the call to

the member for Dobell. Just

when you thought this sordid

saga couldn't get any

grubbier... Go cut your wrists

or better still, hang

received graphic death yourself. ..Craig Thomson's

threats. You are dead. He

blamed the Opposition. You

have unleashed the lynch

mob. And the media. And you

have fanned it. Some

journalists got a particularly

dishonourable mention. What

you don't expect is reporters

to be hovering, hovering

underneath the bathroom

window... While my pregnant

wife is having a shower. At

times emotional and nervous,

and at others angry and defiant

especially when invoking the

presumption of innocence. That

applies in this country and you

have trashed that. What you

have done is not just damage to

an individual or their family,

you have damaged

democracy. Only a handful of

Labor MPs turned up to support

him and hear his defence of an

HSU conspiracy. One can see a

very strong pattern that this

exercise is about getting

someone. That someone is Craig

Thomson. According to Craig

Thomson. He accused his union

officials of setting him up

although he can't say exactly

how they did it given phone

records show multiple calls

made from his mobile and hotel

rooms to brothels. He named

names,ling out the national

secretary, Kathy Jackson can

this man, a Victorian HSU

official. That was a threat by

Marco Bolano that - words to

the effect - he would seek to

ruin any political career that

I sought and would set me up

with a bunch of hookers. Fair

Work Australia found Craig

Thomson spent thousands of

dollars of members' money on

prostitutes and hundreds of

thousands of other indulgences. He disparaged the

investigator. The delegate was

selective and biased. And the institution, arguing Kathy

Jackson's lover holds a senior position at Fair Work

Australia. What relationship,

if any does he have with the

Liberal Party? The sharpest

barb was aim at the Leader of

the Opposition. Not only is

the Leader of the Opposition

unfit to be a Prime Minister,

in my view he's unfit to be an

MP. That was the end of the

speech but twoBt be the end of

this drama - won't be the end

of this drama. The Opposition

says Craig Thomson's explanation doesn't explain

much at all and it will push

for some sort of sanction.

Crucially though, while key

cross-benchers think the whole

thing stinks they're unlikely

to support a move to suspend

the MP from the hung

parliament. The speech was just

as eagerly awaited by some

outside the chamber. Craig

Thomson's union enemies huddled

around their televisions to

hear their names mentioned and

they didn't wait long to strike

back and as George Roberts

reports, the speech also drew a

crowd to Capitol Hill. Pouring

out of parliament, the live

audience wasn't entirely

convinced. I just think he's a

scumbag. I it was a load of

rubbish. I'm not sure I believe

him but I can see some validity

in what he was saying. I'm not

saying that. I'm saying I was

impress would the speech. The

current head of the Health

Services Union tuned in from

afar. It was interesting to

hear what he had to say but I

don't think it actually changes

anything. Chris Brown took

notes but couldn't reconcile

Craig Thomson's account of the

finances or his claims he was

set up. Even if it is the case

it still doesn't explain

$100,000 worth of cash

withdrawals he took out from

ATM machines for which there is

currently no receipts. As for

the man named in parliament...

It disturbs me to watch Mr

Thomson drown in a river of delusion. ..Bolano admits

having crossed words with a

relative of Mr Thomson's but

nothing to do with

prostitutes. I have not set Mr

Thomson up with hookers or in

any other shape or form. The

HSU's national secretary

decried the use of

parliamentary privilege,

dismissed the accusations

against her and scoffed at any suggestion she's worked to

bring him down. Of course not.

I think he's doing a great job

on that on his own. As an

Independent MP, Craig Thomson's

ultimately answerable to the

90,000 voters of Dobell and

whatever the verdict is at

large, there are at least

anecdotal signs of sympathy

back there. At this Central

Coast club, the bingo screen

captured most attention but for

those who took time out to

watch... Towards the end of

his speech, the last half of

it, he seems pretty genuine.

He sounded like an innocent

person defending himself. I

think the excuse was pretty

close to being credible,

yeah. Charity begins at home.

And a world away from that

parliamentary defence, the

Prime Minister was reaffirming

Australia's commitment to Afghanistan. Julia Gillard is

in Chicago for the NATO summit.

There she melt Afghan leader

Hamid Karzai pledging millions

in new aid spending as part of

a new aid deal with the

war-torn country. Craig

McMurtrie reports. Thousands of protesters clash with riot

police in downtown Chicago. A

great of Afghanistan veterans

threw their medals away in

disgust. There were dozens of arrests and reports of

injuries, as well behind the

police lines the US President

and NATO leaders sat down to

map out the best way of ending

the decade-long war. The loss

of life continues in

Afghanistan. There will be hard

days ahead but we're confident

we're on the right track and

what this NATO summit reflect

and the world is behind the

strategy we've laid out. In

amongst a blur of side meetings

at the summit, Prime Minister

Julia Gillard signed a

premiership - signed a

partnership agreement with

Afghanistan, pledging support

beyond 2014. President Karzai

praised Australian generosity,

calling a happy day. Bringing

to Afghanistan the taxpayers'

money of Australia to help our

country. We will not abandon

Afghanistan, that we will

continue to be working with

you. The Prime Minister

announced an increase in

Australian aid spending for

Afghanistan from $165 to $250

million. This on top of the

hundred million dollars already

pledged to support Afghan

security forces. Australia

remains the largest non-NATO

contributor. It is in our

national interest to be there.

We went there because of our

national interest, of course to

stand by our ally, the United States. British officials say

some UK troops could remain in

Afghanistan beyond 2014 and

Julia Gillard isn't ruling out a role for Australian Special

Forces. With an increasingly

unpopular war and cuts in

Defence spending, NATO and its

partner countries are under

enormous pressure. The airline

flagged it but now it's official. Qantas will shed

another 500 jobs and warns more

cuts are likely as it

consolidates its aircraft

maintenance operations. Jeff

Waters reports from Melbourne.

They pretty much known it had

been coming since February when

Qantas said it would

consolidate its maintenance operations but when the

announcement was finally made

that the Tullamarine base in

Melbourne would close t was

still hard. Shocking, mate.

Absolutely shocking. In what way? Just the pressure they've

been putting us had whole time,

just not knowing what's going

to happen. I think it's going

to take a while for things to

hit home but personally I'm

glad now the decision's been

announced. More than 400 jobs

will be lost in Melbourne,

though packages will be offered

to some workers who want to

relocate to the airline's

Brisbane base, though that's

not a good option for all. I

don't know how good's that on

the marriage? I'm just Tube

get married and to have to pick

up my fiancee and move out of

town, I don't think that's

viable. Leaving things as

they are is not an option. For

Qantas to remain competitive we

have to change. Part of that

change will be 100 job losses at Geelong's Avalon airport as

well. Barnaby Joyce says it too

will eventually close - Alan

Joyce says it too will

eventually close but he doesn't

know when. Qantas made $550

million profit last year, gave

the CEO a 71% pay rise as a

result. The airline is doing

well. Qantas says its new

planes need less maintenance.

Unions say they're particularly

worried about the workers

who've lost their jobs here

because airplane engineering is

a very specialised occupation

so finding new jobs will prove

difficult. Our training is

quite specific and at this

stage it's a bit early to say

where our future lies. It

probably does want lie with

other - it probably doesn't lie

with other airlines, none of

which has facilities for

maintenance in Australia. The

students at Taylor Primary

School in Canberra's south will

be spending a lot more time at

their home away from home.

They'll have classes at Namadgi

school until next year while

major repairs are carried out

at their original campus. It

was a move meant to end at

Easter, 200 Taylor Primary

School students travel each day

to Namadgi school where they

have their own classrooms and

school facilities. Now it's to

be an almost permanent

arrangement. Their old school

deemed not safe enough to

inhabit. They discovered there

were structural issues with the

school. It was surprising but

of course safety was the first

thing on everybody was's mind

We have our own facilities we

share with Namadgi but we have

everything happening here we would have at Taylor Primary

School so apart from the

location, we are Taylor Primary

School here at Namadgi. In mid

March, a structural engineer

found wooden frames in the

40-year-old build having

deteriorated and were unsafe

and that asbestos may become

exposed. The ACT Government

will now spend almost $13

million repairing and

refurbishing the school. A free

bus is provided but most get to

school themselves or are

dropped off by their parents.

They've maintained them selves

and they keep being Taylor

still even in a different spot

so it's been good. We have to

do what's right. If it's not

safe for the kids, we do what's

right for the kids. The

school' great For kids like

Kayla, there are more important

things than the site of the

school. I like here because

I've got friends and I like my

teacher. The Government is expecting to have students back

in the classroom at Taylor

Primary for the start of the

2014 school year. The Supreme

Court in Sydney has heard a

teenager was murdered by a

relative of Ivan Milat. Matthew

Milat can now be named as the

person who killed 17-year-old

David Auchterlonie with an axe.

The crime took place in the

Belanglo State Forest north of

Canberra, the same forest where

Ivan Milat killed his victims.

Karl Hoerr reports. This is the

weapon used to end the life of

a Bargo teenager described by

his family as gentle and

trusting. David Auchterlonie

had driven into the forest. In

an audio recording of the

event, Milat accuses him of

telling people Milat had stolen

mun efrom his mother's house.

The victim's mother became

distressed when parts of the

tape were played in court.

Earlier, in a victim impact

statement, she said:

Milat and another young man,

Cohen Klein, have pleaded

guilty to murder.

Auchterlonie's grandfather told

a sentencing hearing his

killers didn't just murder him,

they terrorised and tormented

him. His father said he's

terrified by the pain his son

experienced. He trusted

everyone and was willing to

give everyone a go. David Auchterlonie's grandmother said

she was haunted at not taking

his concerns seriously. If only

I had listened when David told

me someone was going to kill

him, the court heard. Cohen

Klein appeared to look and

listen as the victim impact

statements were read in court.

In contrast, Milat was

downcast, unable or unwilling

to face David Auchterlonie's

family. Friends paid tribute

outside court. He told me to

quit whatever I was doing and

all that and tried to lead me

the right way and then a coward

came and took him away. Milat

and Klein will be sentenced at

a later date. An Australian man

is facing the death penalty in

Malaysia if he's convicteded of

drug trafficking. A court heard

the amount of methamphetamines

allegedly carried by Dominic

Bird would automatically invoke

the maximum penalty. Southeast

Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel

was at the hearing in Kuala

Lumpur. Dominic Bird appeared

to be in relatively good

spirits when he entered the

court, waving to his lawyers,

members of his family and

representatives from the

Australian High Commission. His

father though, who happened to

be sitting next to me, fought

back tears when he saw his son

brought into the court shackled

to 10 other prisoners. The

court was told tests on the

drugs that were allegedly

seized from Mr Bird recorded a

weight of 168.7g. Now, the

threshold for a mandatory death

penalty in Malaysia for drug

trafficking is 50g so clearly

that weight well exceeds that.

Mr Bird's lawyers we've they

have a good chance of defending him. They're questioning the

credibility of the police that

conducted the undercover sting

and they say there are doubts

that can be raised about who actually had possession of the

drugs. We've got our own

preparation in relation to the

circumstances and we are pretty

confident that we have got a

case that is defensible. The

case has been commuted to the

High Court and Mr Bird's

lawyers are hoping to get a

date for trial within the next

week or so. Indonesian

prosecutors have called for a

life sentence for alleged Bali bomber Umar Patek. Prosecutors

told the court the alleged

bomb-maker should be spared the

death penalty because he showed

remorse. Patek admitted to

mixing explosives used in the

2002 attack but played no role

in planning them. The only person convicted for the 1988

Lockerbie bombing has died,

leaving many questions about

the attack unanswered. Adelbaset al-Megrahi was

controversially released from

jail three years ago because of

ill health. I've always been clear that he should never have

been released from prison but I

think today is a day to

remember the 270 people who

lost their lives in what was an appalling terrorist

act. Scottish police say

they're in contact with the new

Libyan Government to find

others they believe they be

responsible for bringing down

the Pan Am jumbo. Thousands of

people have been left homeless

by a powerful earthquake that's

rocked northern Italy. The 5.9

magnitude tremor hit the town

of Modena yesterday morning but

was felt from Venice to Milan.

Hundreds of people were sent

running from their homes. TRANSLATION: At that point, as

you know, we all ran outside on

the street. Just now I was

trying to have a nap but yet

another aftershock woke me up.

At least seven people were

killed and more than 50

injured. The music industry is

mourning the loss of another

great talent, Bee Gees member

Robin Gibb. He died of cancer

aged 62. Over five decades, the singer and his two brothers

produced hits for them selves

and for other artists. Adrian

Raschella looks back on an

extraordinary career.

# You're staying alive, staying alive #

With that unmistakable sound,

Robin Gibb, with his two

brother, captured the Zeitgeist

of the '70s, helping make the

Bee Gees one of the most

successful recording outfits of

all time. The family moved from

the UK to Brisbane when Robin

Gibb was only 9, a knack for

singing complex harmonies put

the boys on the road to stardom

and their first big hit.

# The spicks and the specks...

To me, the most prolific song

writing team in the world, I

mean next to Lennon and McCartney.

# How deep is your love? #

The Bee Gees hold the record

for the third highest-selling

sound track for 'Saturday Night Fever'.

# Jive talking #

They have more than a thousand

tracks to their credit and also

wrote plenty of hits for other artists.

# Islands in the stream

# That is what we are #

With the success came tragedy

too. Robin Gibb's twin,

Maurice, died after surgery for

a blocked intestine in 2003 and

younger pop star brother Andy

died at 30 after a bought batal

with drugs. He said the Bee

Gees always tried to be original.

# The lights all went down in Massachusetts #

Suddenly you've come up with

something that makes the hairs

on your back stand on end and

you know you've got

something. Robin Gibb recently

lamented the lack of harmony in

much of today's music,

confident in knowing the Bee

Gees hits will live on. Songs

about human relationships and

the human condition last forever.

# Nobody gets too much love

anymore hyks Two months after

devastating floods swept through southern NSW, some

farmers and residents are still

suffering. Several farms are still underwater and hundreds

of families have been unable to

return to their homes. Rural

and regional reporter Sally

Sara went to the town of Yenda

in the Riverina. Out here, the

flood is far from over.

Precious crops have been

underwater since March. Local

farmers say the water came up

from blocked irrigation drains. Most of this backed up

from the drainage system. We're

in quite a low area and it was

the back-up from the drainage

system that did all the damage

and then didn't go. We had 5

foot of water over the pace for

two months. Neighbouring

farmer Brad Taylor lost his

entire cherry orchard. 11,000

trees worth half a million

dollars. He's angry that

Murrumbidgee Irrigation wasn't

able to drain the water before

it caused so much destruction.

I suppose the frustration is

the last couple of months where

we've just been unable to get

across the ground to do

anything and assess the damage

and try and move on from it. A

spokesman from Murrumbidgee

Irrigation declined to be

interviewed but said the

organisation will cooperate

with any inquiry. The farmers

here have not only lost their

summer rice crops but won't be

able to plant for the winter

either. Two months after the

floods, the water has dropped but there's still quite a bit

in this area. At this time of

the year this paddock should

have a wheat crop but this year

at least the winter cropping

season is a write-off. This is

what the nearby town of Yenda

looked like at a the height of

the floods in March. The new

wing of the local preschool was

finished only 5 weeks before

the water hit. Now it's

unusable. More than 200

families have left the town

because they're unable to

return to their flood-damaged

homes. 90-year-old Phyllis Mott

is one of the residents waiting

for an insurance pay-out. I

know I'm lot more worse off

than them but it doesn't alter

the fact you're in misery while

you're like this. It shouldn't

be. Why don't they tell us

whether they'll pay or not?

But they won't. Mrs Mott says

the floods are the worst she's

ever seen and hopes the

community will start to

rebuild. Canberra's annual kangaroo cull will start soon

with 2000 to be killed. Several

nature reserves will be closed

while shooters move in. Authorities say roo numbers

need to be reduced to protect

the environment but past culls

have been controversial,

although a Government survey

has found support is growing.

From 59% to 70% so that is a

vindication that people

understand that we're not about removing these animals but

rather maintaining them at

sustainable levels. 2,500

kangaroos were killed during

last year's cull. Canberrans

like light rail but not the

price tag as the preferred

option for the transport

corridor between Gungahlin and

Civic. An ACT Government survey

found more than two-thirds

favour rapid light rail and

less than a quarter want rapid

buses but when it's revealed a

bus corridor is up to $500

million cheaper, support is

evenly split. Over the next

four to five years is the

timeframe you would expect to

see construction complete on

this corridor. It is a complex

and challenging project but the

Government is serious about

this project. And commuters

will no longer have to worry

about when the next bus is

coming because a Twitter trial

giving updates on cancellations

has been extended. The

country's lowest-paid workers

are asking for a $26 increase

in the minimum wage. The ACTU

maintains the increase to just

over $615 a week is modest and

affordable. It told a Fair Work

Australia hearing the money

will protect living standards

from inflation. Business groups

argue the claim is

unaffordable. The ACT's

politicians have been given a

pay rise though. An independent

tribunal has handed down a 3.5%

increase which is in line with

public servants. MLAs now earn

$125,000, the Chief Minister

just over double that. To

finance and the Australian

share market enjoyed its first

positive session in a week but

investor confidence still

remains very fragile. Phillip

Lasker has the details. Markets

are on edge and the weekend G8

meeting which was short on

specifics hasn't really changed

anything so today we saw a

bounce of sorts but it's not

much of a bounce when you

consider markets were down the

best part of 5% last week. As

you might expect, we saw a

rebound in resource stocks

which copped a fair beating

last week, partly because there

are hopes now that China may do

more to stimulate growth. The

banks also found some buying

support, Qantas was steady in

response to today's

announcement. The major

commodities were higher but the

speculators are less confident

about commodities. This is a

graph of hedge funds bets on

rising commodity prices.. it reflects just about everything

from copper to soybeans. The

falling line shows that

speculators are cutting back

their bets that commodity

prices in general are going up.

It's a function of a slowing

Chinese economy, slowing global

growth and fears about Europe

and when it comes to

withdrawing money from banks,

Greek depositors aren't the

problem at number 13. They hold

only 1.3% of European deposits.

Things start to get very nasty

when Spanish depositors decide

en masse their banks are not

place they want to keep their

savings. Together, France,

Spain and Italy represent

almost 40% of European

deposits. And on foreign

exchange markets, the Australian Dollar's still

trading well below 99 US cents, just like everywhere else,

foreign exchange mark ats are

in a holding pattern waiting to

see what Europe does or doesn't

do. That's finance. The

preparations for Queensland's

State of Origin side has hit a

snag with The Maroons camp laid

low by the Melbourne weather. A

number of players, including captain Cameron Smith, have a

virus just two days out from

the game. Nick Bailey reports. Something wasn't right about

this picture. In what was meant

to be a chance for both

captains to prematurely get

their hands on the Origin

shield, Queensland was down a

skipper. We're being

precautionary, making sure at

the end of the day we want the

guys fully fit and healthy for Wednesday night so putting him

in licilation to get over his illness as soon as possible and

he's ready to play on

Wednesday. The intention all

week has been - the attention

all week had been on the Blues

captain Paul Gallen but after

hitting the training paddock on

the weekend his message was

clear. Woke up fine, no

swelling, good to go. I'll get

out there Wednesday night. The

only thing that seemed to be in

doubt was the sports Minister's

grasp of the contest. Welcome

to the special game, the first

game of the Queensland verses

New Zealand - Queensland verse

s NSW in the State of the

origin match. No wonder Mal

Meninga was feeling nostalgic

for the traditional format. I'm

a traditionalist Y like to see

two games played in Queensland

and one in NSW and vice versa

but the future of the game is

more important. Ricky Stuart

doesn't care where it's played,

he justments to win. I can't

do anything about the past.

What these guys can do is

create a future. That's what

we're looking at. The next

chapter in Origin history is

just 48 hours away. To the

weather now and it was a

delight of a day. We reached a

top of 16 degrees after an

overnight low of one.

A large belt of high pressure

combine would a lingering cold

air mass is bringing mostly clear skies to central and southeast Australia. That high

is directing moist onshore

winds and a few showers on to

the NSW and Queensland coast.

That's ABC News. We'll leave

you with the endeavour replica

returning home to Sydney after circumnavigating Australia. Thanks for your company. Goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI

O'Open Tonight - Craig

Thomson's best defence is to counter-attack. I had many

enemies in the HSU. Many

enemies who didn't like

increased transparency. I never

made a threat to Craig or even

had harsh words to Craig. And Australia's Defence Force Chief

on Afghanistan's rocky road to

peace. There will need to be a

level of reconciliation with

elements of the Taliban.

Embezzlement of union funds,

receipt of secret commissions,

thousands of dollars spent on

prostitutes. Week after week

the accusations against Labor

MP Craig Thomson have mounted

an gone largely unanswered. But

today, the former head of the

Health Services Union hit back

accusing his accusers of