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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) The battle for Damascus -

fighting intensifies in the

Syrian capital. This Program

is Captioned Live. Rewarding

the best - the Federal

Opposition's answer to

improving education standards. The solution is

paying the best teachers more

and moving out of the education

system underperforming teachers

that currently can't be removed

under the education

system. Labor re-opens the

wound over Julia Gillard's

leadership Popularism matters

in politics and no matter what

political party you're talking

about, if leaders remain

unpopular long enough, they

will inevitably stop leading

the party. And in the NRL,

South Sydney clinches a

thrilling 2-point win over the

Roosters. Good morning, it's

Tuesday, 17th July. I'm Michael

Rowland. And I'm Beverley

O'Connor. The top stories on

ABC News Breakfast - troops

have taken to the streets of

Damascus as fighting

intensifies in the Syrian

capital. Opposition activists

have described parts of the

city as being under siege A

spokesman for the Free Syrian

Army are trying to dislodge

rebels in the Midan district..

In report from Al Jazeera's

Mereana Hond. Early-morning

shelling in Syria's capital.

GUNFIRE. These are the most

violent battles in Damascus

since the unrest began,

creeping ever closer to the

seat of Syria's President,

Bashar al-Assad. Diplomatic

efforts to resolve the crisis

have been equally as troweled.

Allies Russia and Iran have

been unwaivering in support of

Assad and his government.

Russia has already vetoed two

UN resolutions sanctioning the

government and that appears

unlikely to change

TRANSLATION: Our Western allies

make alternative plans that do

not include the Geneva

agreements. An agreement was

not reached. And the Government

of Iran is also showing its

support for mediation and

speaking out against any foreign intervention. TRANSLATION:

TRANSLATION: We are fully

willing to prepare the

appropriate conditions to start

dialogue between the Syrian

Opposition and the Government.

That's because we are convinced

the solution in Syria has to be

Syrian and amongst the Syrians themselves, without imposing

any terms or conditions from

abroad. Further north, a

helicopter circles over the

city of Homs. As civilians seek

refuge from the shelling.

Others are caught in the

attack. This opposition fighter

is one of the few left behind. TRANSLATION: Look at the

destruction, look at this, a

building 10 storeys high, they

destroyed with the tanks,

continuous shelling with

rockets, helicopter, artillery. List tone the tanks,

everything, but we are staying

here and we are persistent and

despite all this, we are going

to win. Hondo hobd reporting

there. Underperforming teachers

are being targeteded again,

this time by the Federal Opposition. Education spokesman

Christopher Pyne says a

Coalition Government would make

it easier to get rid of

teachers who don't make the

grade. He says teacher training and quality is more important

than indecrease ing class sizes

or increasing salaries. He

wants to attract more teachers

to the profession by paying the

best more. Joel Fitzgibbon

says he hopes and expects the

Prime Minister's polling number

also improve and she will be at

the helm for next year's poll,

but he says leaders who remain

unpopular don't last. A new

report says Australia's

relationship with India remains

brittle and more needs to be

done to strengthen ties. A series of recommendation also

be released today by the

Australia-India ibs stut

following a 9-month Stouddy. They

They include improving

education services, immigration

numbers. An American naval ship

has opened fire on a motor boat off the coast of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Unconfirmed reports say one

person has been killed and

three injured. The US Navy says

the boats had repeatedly

ignored warnings to stop

approaching the USNS

'Rappahannock', a refueling

ship. The US recently ship. The US recently increased

its presence in the Gulf due to

tensions with Iran over oil

routes. Hosni Mubarak has been

ordered back to prison. Mubarak

who is 84 was hospitalised last

month. At the time he was said

to have suffered a series of

strokes. Report he was

clinically dead were later

denied. Egypt's prosecutors

says Mubarak's health has now improved. Last year he was improved. Last year he was

given a life sentence for

providing over the death of democracy protesters. And Jon

Lord has died, aged 71. He

wrote many of Deep Purple's hit

songs, including 'Smoke on the

clinic surrounded by Water'. He died at the London

clinic surrounded by family. Taking a quick look at

the financial markets now:

Let's get more now on the

comments from Christopher Pyne

surrounding the Federal

Opposition's desire to get rid

of underperforming teachers.

Denyer reports Political reporter Winsome

Denyer reports from Canberra.

This was a rather surprise

swipe against the education

sector? Well, you wouldn't be

too impressed if you were in

the teaching industry, but the

Opposition education spokesman

Christopher Pyne has been

outlining the Coalition's

policy on education and

Christopher Pyne really wants

to see underperforming teachers

taken out of the system

altogether. He says that taken out of the system

teaching has become a

profession that is cheap and

easy to got a job in and it's

really not attracting high

achievers. Let's take a

listen. The solution is paying

the best teachers more and

moving out of the education

system underproming teachers

that currently can't be removed

from the education system. The

solution is not just saying, "Let's lift all

"Let's lift all the teachers'

salaries," which doesn't

actually remove the problem, it

just means everyone gets paid

more. Sure, teachers should be paid more, but only the

teachers that deserve to be

made more. What we can learn

from our East Asian neighbours

is focusing on teacher quality

in ongoing development, vital

component nepts in continuing

to improve student

to improve student

outcomes. Winsome Denyer, no

we'll hear more throughout the

day from the teaching

profession but clearly Julia

Gillard won't be happy with the

comments from Joel Fitzgibbon

on 'Q&A' last night where he

res sur regted speculation

about her leadership? Yes, the question

question was asked whether

there would be another return of former prime minister Kevin of former prime minister Kevin

Rudd, and the Opposition

frontbencher Greg Hunt who was

also on the panel, he stirred

the pot a bit, he said he

thought it was likely that

Kevin Rudd might make a return

this year, and when the

Government chief Whip Joel

Fitzgibbon was asked by host

Tony Jones whether he could rule in rule in or out Kevin Rudd would

make a return this year,

whether it would be likely, he

said no, he thought it would be

unlikely. Let's take a listen.

It might come to a shock to

everyone here but popularism

matters in politics and no

matter what political party you're talking about, if

leaders remain unpopular long

enough, they will inevitably

stop leading the party, but

Julia Gillard is doing good

work. She has a long way to go. Well, on

go. Well, on the basis of what

you just said... That was quite

a ringing endorsement, wasn't

it? It rather suggests her time

might be limited or at least

dependent on her poll numbers? Well, I believe Julia Gillard's

poll numbers will poll numbers will improve. Joel Fitzgibbon there. Talking of

the Rudd factor, another Rudd

factor that has reared its factor that has reared its

head? Yes, it looks like

potential, even if Kevin Rudd

doesn't end up standing in the

next federal election, there is a chance another Rudd will be

able to be elected. Kevin Rudd's older brother Greg Rudd

is apparently going to be

running for Senate in the next

federal election. It is a story

in the 'Australian' newspaper

this morning, and Greg Rudd has said that he would

said that he would stand as an

Independent for a Senate seat,

representing Queensland. So, at

least it's all in the family.

There will definitely be one Rudd standing in the next

election. Good to talk to you,

WIN some. We'll talk to you

throughout the course of the

morning, thanks for your

time. Staying with politics for

just a moment, Foreign Affairs

Minister Bob Carr has met his

Indonesian counterpart in Indonesian counterpart in

Jakarta to discuss ways to

prevent pluging in the region.

Senator car Carrs say Australia

needs the help of both nations

in the region. Marty Natalegawa

also said his country could cooperate better in search and

rescue operations. Without the Malaysian arrangement, we're left with left with an improvised

Indonesian Solution which puts

too much pressure on Indonesia.

It's something Indonesia

doesn't want, something

Indonesia hasn't sought and the

way of breaking the business

model of the people smugglers

is to ensure that there is

processing in Malaysia.

Malaysia has agreed to it,

Malaysia continues to adhere to

it. We want it to happen, we

want it to be the disincentive

to people smugglers, enticing to people smugglers, enticing

people to give up thousands of

their dollars to take a risk at

sea. It's unsafe, inhumane Look

at Indonesia's geography,

17,000 islands. It's very

porous and I guess with those

perpetrators or masterminds

behind people smuggling, they

find the conditions in Indonesia possible Indonesia possible or conducive

for them to continue their

operations. But we are doing

our level best at the national level, working together with

Australia and other friendly

countries, to disrupt in a serious way the

operations. Naet nat naet who

of course is Indonesia's

Foreign Minister trying very

clearly, too, to make sure that

this doesn't become a sticking

point between the two countries. Given how countries. Given how important

the relationship really is. So

critical. Sri Lanka's Navy has

detained another boat carrying

more than 60 people reportedly

heading for Australia. The

fishing trawler was intercepted

just off Australia's east

coast. Police say it's the

third such incident in two

days. To the front pages of

the country's major newspapers

this morning. The reign my murder trial is under way in

Perth and the Perth and the prosecutor's case

leads the 'West Australian'. While the murder charge against former NRL star

Craig Field dominates the

'Daily Telegraph'. The NT News

reports on a family's search

for answers after the week

end's fatal shooting in

Palmerston. A now former

ministerial staffer who was

rushed to hospital while the

Queensland Parliament was in

session will face court on session will face court on drugs charges. That story from

the 'Courier-Mail' The Prime

Minister has stared down business demands to change Fair

Work reforms, reports 'The Australian'. While in the

'Financial Review', the man who

led the Government's tax review

questions the value of the

mining tax The 'Herald' Sun

says the Victorian Government's

decision not to finance all

beds in Melbourne's new Royal Children's Hospital is causing life-saving operations to be life-saving operations to be

cancelled. From the mercury,

homes were evacuated as a

leaking dam threatened to dump

20 megalitres of water onto

parts of Hounville. At least

five teachers a day are being

assaulted by students in South

Australia, reports the

'Advertiser' And the Victorian Government may sell its

freeways to raise funds for new

road and rail projects, says road and rail projects, says 'The Age'. Now popular do you

think Christopher Pyne would be

today in any school Not very

popular. Knowing a few

teachers, they are pretty

special people. Christopher Pyne's interview on Lateline

last night, it's fair to say he

is not the only politician who

has come out with some demands

to the teacher profession, but

he has gone out on a much

greater limb than many others.

He also makes the point and it

is a fair point to make that

unlike other professions, he

says teachers often reach a

salary plateau when they reach

their late 20s or so. There is

no incentive, as he sees it,

for some teachers to improve

their skills and become

enthusiastic about research and

the way they conduct themselves

in the classroom and he

suggested a Coalition

Government would undergo a

root-and-branch reform of the way the teacher profession

operates. Also he is talking

about older teachers who are

not performing and wanting to

move them out of the system. I think that was probably a

situation that may have existed

10, 15 years ago. There has

been a lot of reform on that

front. I think a lot of people

would argue that is no longer

the case, but nevertheless he

feels there is need for more

reform on that front. But we

would love to hear your

thoughts this morning. If you

would like to join that

discussion around teaching, the

profession, and teachers

themselves, contact us:

You could even mark the

comments, A, B, C, D, E, or

F. It wasn't going to take

long. No, perhaps not. To the

weather around the country:

The top stories on ABC News

Breakfast - troops take to the

streets in Damascus, as fighting intensifies in the

capital. Opposition activists

describe some parts of the city as under siege. The Opposition education spokesman

Christopher Pyne says a

Coalition Government would make

it easier to get rid of

teachers who don't make the

grade. He wants to attract high

achievers to the profession by

paying the best teachers

more. And the Federal

Government's chief Whip has

stopped short of guaranteeing that Julia Gillard will lead Labor to the next election.

Joel Fitzgibbon says he hopes

and expects the Prime

Minister's polling numbers will

improve and he will be at the

helm - and she will be at the

helm for next year's

poll. Perth's Supreme Court

has been told Lloyd Rayney

murdered his wife after she

threatened to ruin his

career. Lloyd Rayney was

flanked by his teenage

daughters as he arrived at

court for his long awaited

murder trial. He was a

prominent barrister and his

estranged wife a Supreme Court

registrar when she died five

years ago sparking an

investigation that continues to

divide Perth's legal profession

and the wider community. The

couple's links with legal

circles led WA State Government

to take extraordinary steps to

run what may prove the State's

most expensive criminal trial.

Presiding over the trial as

judge alone is former Northern

Territory Chief Justice and former South Australian Supreme

Court judge, Justice Brian mar

Taeyn. New South Wales senior

counsel John age just runs a

prosecution team being run by

that State's prosecution service. Corryn Rayney's car

was found in a street, damaged,

leaving an oil trail back to

the precise spot in the nearby

park where she had been buried.

Police had taken the

controversial step of naming Mr

Rayney as the target of

investigation He is our prime

suspect because our evidence at

this time leads us to believe

the offence occurred at that

pous house. In his opening

statement, senior council John

age just told the court Mr

Rayney strangled his wife at

their family home as their

children slept upstairs. He

says doctors would give

evidence the cause of death was

consistent with compression of

the neck and spine and brain

damage. Mr Age just told the

court the Rayney's marriage had

irretrievably broken down and

that Mrs Rayney had threatened

to harm Mr Rayney's career,

telling a friend on the phone

she would ensure he would never

make queen's counsel. The court

was also told that plant and

soil samples found on Mrs

Rayney's body matched those

from the family home. The trial

is expected to last two

months. Anti-uranium activists

are continuing their protest at

South Australia's Olympic mine Kim Robertson

reports. Protesters vowed to

take their anti-uranium message

to the gates of the Olympic

Dam. Instead, they took it

straight through. Police and

security guards hired by BHP

Billiton waited behind the

Wayne inner gate as some of the

350 demonstrators broke a lock to

to smash through the exterior

fence. They were prevented from

reaching the mine by the second

reinforced steel gate. The move

improvemented police to bring

in extra officers on foot and

on horseback. Individual

protests included a smoking

ceremony for Aboriginal members ceremony for Aboriginal members

of the group, but this was

thwarted by police. Please

keep... The group had earlier

marched 2km from their

makeshift camping ground

chanting anti-uranium

messages. And taunting mine

workers who were watching from

the side. CHANTING. Demonstrators claim

the police have been

heavy-handed but the police

have denied this, saying some

restrictions are necessary to ensure the safety of all involved. The group confronted

police at the gates of the mine

and then lay down on the ground

for several minutes to remember

those who have died from

radiation poisoning. If we want

to leave anything left for our

generations to come, that has

to end. The uranium has to stay

in the ground. That's the only

place where it is safe. And place where it is safe. And

we'll get an update on that

protest from Kim Robertson a

little later on in the program.

Let's have a look at finance

and the Monday. International

Monetary Fund is warning the

global economic recovery is

still at risk. The IMF says the

Eurozone remains in a

precarious position It warns a

delayed or insufficient

response by European leaders to

the crisis will further derail the recovery.

the recovery. The IMF has

downgraded its forecast for

global growth for 2013 to just

below 4%.

The main risk is obvious. It

is the vicious cycles in Spain

and Italy become stronger, that

output falls even more when it

does, that one of those

countries loses financial

access to markets, and the implications of implications of such an event

could easily derail the world

recovery. The IMF's Olivier

Blanchard speaking. Former

Barclays spokesman says Barclays spokesman says Bob Diamond told staff..he says

that's the impression he was

given during a phone

conversation with Mr Diamond I

only know what I clearly recall

from my conversation with Mr

Diamond. The investigators that

have looked at this thoroughly have concluded that

have concluded that there was a

miscommunication,

misunderstanding, but I can

only recall my recollection or

I can only state what my

recollection of the conversation is. That Barclays

saga continues. Let's take a

look at how the markets fared:

To sport now. Amy Bainbridge

joins us. Good morning to

you Good morning. South Sydney

a bit too good for the Roosters

in the NRL last night Yes, it

rally was a thriller. Happened

in the dying minutes of the

match. The Rabbitohs scored two

tries. The score was 24-22.

Nathan Merritt scored in the

79th minute and the Rabbitohs

went the length of the field.

Here is how the game finished

up. COMMENTATOR: Give it is to

Merrett. Merrett for the line.

Here we go!-the-Bunnies have

players that can score from

anywhere. Merrett is there

again. Here he is! Merrett,

Merrett links up with Luke.

Luke for the line. Luke for the line. Reynolds!

Reynolds! I have seen it all!

The Rabbitohs have done it!

An unbelievable victory We

always knew we were in it to

the death. We knew we could

still do it, score points and

we did ta in the end. Indeed.

Well, to Super Rugby and Queensland Reds star quaid

Cooper will miss this weekend's

qualifying play-off after being

suspended for a dangerous

tackle. A SANZAR judicial

hearing has banned him for one

match for making contact with

the neck of Berrick Barnes in

Saturday's game in

Brisbane. Chris Judd was

reported for what's being

termed a chicken wing tackle on

North mek's Leigh Adams. He

will appear before the tribunal

tonight and won't be eligible

for a discounted penalty if he

pleads guilty. To Anna Bligh,

the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic

will line up against the

Melbourne Vicks sense in

Sunday's trans-Tasman final in

Melbourne. The Magic needed

extra time to beat the mix tiks

57-48 in last night's

preliminary final in New

Zealand. The Australian Olympic

team is being fitted out for

the right gear for competition

in London. The Australian team

has been picking up its uniforms and accreditation

ahead of the Games. The canoe

and kayaking team is among the

physical of the athletes to

receive their gear. Warwick

Draper is competing at his

third Olympics I think it's

fantastic, as the other two

were, but every time they do a

great job. The stuff is

amazing. We get a lot of year

and it's really awesome to

finally see it all and get it

all. It's a bit like Christmas, really.

Just turned up in London,

first day. The Olympics is all

basically kicking off today.

Just collecting our gear, got

our accreditation this morning.

Pretty excited basically. It is

exciting indeed. Well, to a look at the Tour de France

overnight. Fed Ricoh triumphed

in a two-man sprint ahead of

Christian Vandevelde. Bradley

Wiggins finished comfortably in

the peloton and remains in the

yellow jersey as the Tour heads

into the second rest day. Cadel

Evans's position is unchanged,

still 4th, 3 minutes 19 seconds

off the pace. Stage 15 of the

Tour de France, 158 from

Samatan to Pau and it was rod

rig go to continued the rig go to continued the run, beating breakaway companion,

Christian Vandevelde in the run

to the line. On paper, it

looked like a day for the

sprinters, but as GreenEDGE's

Matt Goss explains, they rolled

the dice and decided not to

chase P We can't put our guys

day in, day out out the front.

It's 35 degrees, really hot. If

we use three guys to ride,

three less guys for the final

and the complete team, chances

are we won't win the stage

anyway. We've played the first

week. It was pretty well we

rode with Lotto quite a lot,

but in this middle week, no-one

wants to take a bit of

responsibility. A bit

tit-for-tat, like you say. We

just took our chances at saying

no today. I didn't want to kill

the boys. It is a long way to

Paris and we lost Brett today

due to fatigue and injury and I

wasn't going to put the guys on

the front today, especially

when other teams weren't willing to contribute

either. More disappointing news

for the GreenEDGE team. Brett

land caster has suffered three

crashes on the same side of his

body in this year's Tour found

himself just unable to continue

today and it was clearly a very disappointing decision to have

to climb off the bike at the

midway point of today's

stage. Like I said, I wanted to

go to Paris with the Orica

GreenEDGE. First ever thing for

an Aussie team. It's not going

to happen. I will bounce back and stay positive and ride the

rest of the year out now. No

change in the overall standings. Bradley Wiggins

obviously remains in yellow.

Cadel Evans still in 4th place,

3 minutes 19 seconds from the lead and tomorrow the second

rest day for the riders ahead

of the high Pyrenees. James

Bennett reporting. Much

disappointment there for Brett

land caster. We wish him a

speedy recovery We do indeed.

Thanks, Amy. ABC News Breakfast

can be watched live on the web. Just

web. Just go to the maybe ABC

News website. And you will find

a link to News 24 and that is

streamed every day. Advantage

necessary 15 is here to tell us

about the ongoing weather

situation in Japan. The result

of record rain. The hardest hit

areas also where there has areas also where there has been

an incredible 82cm

an incredible 82cm in Asau in

the past few days. Monsoonal

trough sitting through parts of

China, Korea and parts of

Japan. Very hot and humid air

and this is creating more

moisture and that pump, trough

is pumping it eastwards. More torrential rainfalls forecast

into early next week. Let's

take a look back home. As we

can see, not much cloud on the

satellite image. A weak cold satellite image. A weak cold

front is triggering showers and

strong winds across south

Western Australia and a

developing trough causing a few shower as long Queensland's

east coast. It is cold this

morning under a high pressure

system. Minus 3.5 at Bombala in

New South Wales. A front is tracking towards the

south-east, bringing a cooler,

showery change. On Thursday it

will move off the coast and a deepening trough is deepening trough is possibly

spurn an east coast low that

will strengthen winds and rain

up along the east coast of New

South Wales. For your state

today:

You're watching ABC News

Breakfast. Thanks for joining

us this morning. Still to come,

the conflict in Syria indeed a

civil war? The International

Red Cross thinks it is. We will

be speaking to a military law expert soon to find out what that means. Phil Kafcaloudes

will join us to review the will join us to review the

day's newspapers, and wool' be

speaking to a former US

ambassador who is not happy

with the way Washington has

been handling the Arab Spring.

All that coming up, but first

here is the news with Bev Armoured vehicles are on the streets of Damascus as fighting intensifies in the

Syrian capital. Opposition

activists have described

southern parts of the city as

being under siege. A spokesman

for the Free Syrian Army says

troops are trying to dislodge

reb bets in the Midan district. Underperforming teachers are

being targeted again, this time

by the Federal. Federal

Opposition. Christopher Pyne

says a Coalition Government

would make it easier to get rid

of teachers who don't make the

grade. He says teacher training

and quality is more important

than reduced class sizes or

increasing salaries. The Federal Government's chief Whip

has stopped short of guaranteeing that Julia Gillard

will lead Labor to the next

election. Joel Fitzgibbon says

he hopes and expecting the

Prime Minister's polling

numbers will improve and that

she will be at the helm for

next year's poll. A new report

says Australia's relationship

with India remains brittle and

more needs to be done to

strengthen ties. A series of recommendations will be

released today by the

Australia-India Institute. They

include speeding up

negotiations on free trade and immigration concessions to

Indian students. An American

naval ship has opened fire on a

motor boat off the coast of

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Unconfirmed reports

say one person has been killed

and three injured. The US Navy

says the boat repeatedly

ignored warnings to stop approaching a refueling

ship. Very shortly we hope to

bring you some details of

fairly big protest which

happened outside Queensland's

Parliament House last night.

About 2,000 public sector

workers took to the streets to

protest against the Queensland Premier sooun. Campbell Newman's suggestion that there

were 20,000 too many public

servants in Queensland,

suggesting very heavy job cuts

indeed in the pipeline in

Queensland. It's an issue that

has angered a lot of public

service workers, there has been

lots of agitation around the

edges but the first time last

night we had this full-scale

anger of public servants, particularly those threatened

by job cuts about what they see

as a misguided policy by the

relatively new Labor National

Party Government in Queensland.

John Taylor reports. It's the

largest protest yet seen over

cuts to the State's public

service Campbell Newman

promised public servants had

nothing to fear from him!

ALL: Liar! Liar! Unions are

threatens statewide industrial

action Yes, I'm very riled up.

I've been in the public service

for 30 years. No reaction from the Premier today, just a

statement T confirmed nearly

3,000 full-time positions were

lost at the end of June and the

Government remains committed to

a so-called right-size public

service to account for the

20,000 public servants it says

Queensland can't afford. It's

getting beyond a joke now. Essentially people are having

to turn up to work, looking

over their shoulder and public

servants are not just in fear

of their jobs, people are

terrified of losing their

jobs. Labor today released

details of where the next cuts

might be. What we've heard

today is 140 people will be

losing their job from the skill

ing Queenslanders for work

initiative. The Minister for

Education, training and

employment says his department

is looking at job cuts. Look,

they're things that every

department is going through p

significant change, because of

the situation we've been left

by Labor and my department is not exempt. Firefighters and ambulance workers have also

committed to a statewide

industrial campaign over pay

and conditions. It's unfortunate that through

cost-saving measures they're

putting the lives of paramedics, firefighters and

the general public that they're

out there to save at risk.

Already had two recruit courses

cancelled this year, so we have

retire mets to take place

within the 12 months that

possibly won't be filled so

we're already losing frontline

staff. They, too, are promising

mass rallies across the State.

Not long before tonight's

protest, the training Minister

confirmed 144 staff will be

offered voluntary redundancies

or moved to other roles. The

Government says it's trying to

find savings to minimise job

cuts, but what's clear is that

the honeymoon is over for the

Campbell Newman Government.

Well, as the Olympic Games

draws closer, Heathrow Airport

experienced one of its busiest

ever days. More than 200,000

athletes and officials passing

through It was relatively

smooth, but getting to the

village was a different story,

as Europe correspondent Philip

Williams reports. Coming ready

or not, athletes and officials

converged on London's Heathrow

Airport, an operation unlike

any experienced before. We're

expecting a record-breaking

237,000 people to move in or

out of the terminals which will

be the busiest day we've ever recorded. New Olympic-only

lanes are starting to come into

force. Good for athletes, not

so good for motorists fighting

for less road. One bus load of

American athletes and officials

complained their driver was

lost for 4 hours. It wouldn't surprise me if one of them surprise me if one of them got

lost. It would surprise me if

one of them got lost for four

hours. I would believe it to be

an exaggeration but I'm sure

London 2012 are looking at it

just as soon as they can.

at the Olympic venue,

performers and soldiers were

rehearsing the welcome

ceremonies for athletes and

officials from 204

countries. It is an honour for

us to be able to show our

skills at this grand event, and

to mark the occasion by seeing

the military personnel in their

ceremonial uniforms as an event

that's going to happen once in

our lifetime. But less

fulfilling, the military's

unexpected role, filling huge

security gaps left by security gaps left by private company, G4S. The company's

share price dropped and

according to the Opposition,

the Government's guard did,

too. How on earth could the too. How on earth could the

minister responsible for delivering Olympic security be

the only person who didn't

know? When G4S told us that

they would be unable to deliver

their contractual obligations,

last Wednesday, we decided to

deploy extra military personnel

to fill the gap. But there is

even more pressure has just 17

of 56 G4S security guards

durned up for work, securing a

Manchester hotel. The police

had to fill the hole at short notice Police officers and

soldiers as well, because

they're filling in, in London,

we cannot turn up for work.

Professional people who waa

want to do a good job, the

people from Group 4 should hang

their heads in shame.

When the athletics getting

going, when the thing kicks

off, when the Opening Ceremony

begins, a lot of these ish hues

we're currently discussing will

melt away. But perhaps the

greatest threat to a successful

Games remains the weather.

Soaking rain shows no sign of

clearing. What athletes and

officials just want to do now

is get down to the serious

business of sport. Well, we

have the security issues have the security issues now,

appears there needs to be appears there needs to be some driver education Education

programs. Amazing that that bus

driver got lost. American

athlete champion hurdler Kerryn

Clement was on that bus and as

this bus driver was going on

that 4-hour magical mystery

tour around London. He tweeted.

" Um, so we've been lost on the

road for 4 hours. Not road for 4 hours. Not a good

first impression." He went on

to say, "Athletes are tired,

hungry and need to pee." Let

es hope they did not get what

you did What? That's another

story. This bus contained

Australian athletes and

officials, described as several

hours. It hours. It includedle less

recollect lick who was ong that

bus amongst others. They

managed to see a lot of tourist

site the. They marked off

Buckingham Palace, the tower of

London. You think B Palace is

there. The tower is there in

London You really don't need

to... No A couple of roads have

had final touches put

had final touches put to it. So

the detours are providing a

nightmare. Well n this case he

simply forgot to turn on his

GPS. Airport, go to village.

Follow the signals. Apparently

the driver on the Australian

bus told the worried athletes,

"I'm lost. It's my first day on

the job and I'm lost." That's

honesty for honesty for you. Absolutely Interesting I

was watching the BBC and you

would not have known that there

was a single issue. They just

reported magnificent at heath

three, magnificent at

everywhere else. I suppose they're trying to put a nice

shiny light on it. Of course,

we do want to remember that in

a couple of days all these

issue also be ironed out. Let's

hope so. More on our top story

on Syria and Hilary Clinton

says she will continue to press

Russia to support a resolution

against Syria in the UN

Security Council. Ms Clinton

remains convinced the regime

can't last. It is worrisome

that the violence is

increasing, that it is more

prevalent in Damascus and the

suburbs. I believe and I've

said it before and obviously I

can't put a time line on it,

that this regime cannot

survive. I just wish that it

would move out of the way sooner instead of later so that

more lives could be saved and

we could have the chance to

achieve the kind of democratic

transition that we all,

including Russia, agreed to in our meeting

our meeting in Geneva a few

weeks ago. Hilary Clinton

speaking in Jerusalem a very

short time ago. UN envoy Kofi

Annan is preparing to meet for

you rush shaes's Foreign

Minister for talks on that crisis. The Geneva Convention

must be applied. Professor

McCormack has experience in

international humanitarian and

military law and he is with us

now in the studio. Tim, thanks

for joining us. You're

welcome. What does that mean now

now that the Geneva Convention

rules should apply? I guess the most important thing is

having characterised the

situation as a civil war, then

we move from talking only about

crimes against humanity to war

crimes. We move from talking

only about attacks by the only about attacks by the Assad regime on the Syrian

population, and on now discussing obligations on both

sides of the conflict in

relation to the way combatants

are treated, any detainees that

are held that are treated, the

types of weapons that are being

used, the types of targets that

are being targeted. And it also

in the long run makes it easier

to prosecute individuals of war

crimes as well? Yes, war

crimes tend to be easier

because you don't have the same

sort of quantity tiff sort of quantity tiff

thresholds that you do for

crimes against humanity or an

act of genocide. Yes, that's true Interesting that up until

now, opposition fighters have

tried to characterise it as

simply being perpetrated by

Assad and they're just trying

to defend them selves. Do you

think this is a turning point,

the way the UN is looking at it

to say, "No, you're both as bad to say, "No, you're both as bad

as each other." ? Probably, a

turning point. We learnt

lessons from the Libyan situation where again the

tension was characterised as

Gaddafi's regime, turning his

military on his own civilian

population, but once the rebel

forces there became organised

to a threshold level of

cooperation and coordination,

it became much more complicated to just assume to just assume that all the atrocities were being

perpetrated by the government

side. So I think now in Syria

there is a recognition that the

rebel forces, organised to a

sufficient level, to be held

responsible for its own conduct

of hostilities. But when it

comes down to it, we've seen

Assad really thumbing his nose

at the international community.

What's to say he will respect

this international law? He

probably won't, Michael, and I

guess that's one of the senses

of frustration ta I have, that

the international community and

the Security Council isn't

prepared to refer the Syrian

situation to the ICC in the

same way as they did with the

sir, Libyan situation. That I

would imagine would put

pressure on Assad. Is Russia

involved there as well?

Unquestionably and I suspect Unquestionably and I suspect

that Russia believe s Assad

will prevent that from

happening. Are we going to see

any change in both Russia and I

guess China as well? I'm not

sure, but I would hope that the

Russians and the Chinese would

come to see that the Assad

regime is so limited in terms

of its future, that their

interests lie in reaching interests lie in reaching an

agreement and moving on. Tim

McCormack, thanks for joining

us. Thank you. The top stories

this morning - fighting as

we've been talking about has

intensified in the Syrian

capital. Opposition activists

have described southern parts

of Damascus as being under

siege. The UN says Syria is

refusing visas to Western aide

workers. Thousands of public

servants have made their voices servants have made their voices

heard against job cuts in

Queensland. Protesters gathered

outside State Parliament in Brisbane last night. Premier

Campbell Newman has confirmed

nearly 3,000 positions were

shed at the end of last

month. And the Federal

Government's chief Whip has

stopped short of guaranteeing that Julia Gillard will lead

Labor to the next election.

Joel Fitzgibbon says he hopes

and expects the Prime

Minister's polling numbers will

improve and she will be at the

helm for next year's poll. Some

sad news in music circles this

morning. Jon Lord, the former

keyboard player with Deep

Purple has died, aged 71. He

was one of the group's

co--founders and wrote many of

their songs, including the

iconic 'Smoke on the Water'.

Now, that sound will be

resonating for you all day, I

know. Because it is that kind

of riff,s is so deep and it just settles in you and you

can't lose it, can you. You

will be riffing for the rest of

the day. It's just so iconic, no

no other word for it Lots of

toe-tapping going on. There is

Jon Lord. Very interesting

character. He was classically

educated, had tradition in

classical music wand was the

co-writer of not just 'Smoke on

the Water' but many of Deep Purple's

Purple's greatest hits. Jon

Lord died surrounded by his

family at the age of 71 in a

London clinic. Lots of people

very sorry about his passing

this morning. Absolutely and

the man sitting with us, Phil

Kafcaloudes you knew Jon Lord

Yes, I knew Jon Lord. Just one

of the most beautiful people

you would ever want to know Jon

Lord. He wrote a little - I

took a part of one of his

songs. He wrote a beautiful

album called Picture Within

which is one of those things

where he talks about his life

and goes very introspective and

I asked him could I use that

for the front of my novel and

he said, "I would be honoured

to." Once I asked him about

that song, 'Smoke on the

Water', I said, "Do you really

miss not playing that song

anymore?" He said,"seriously?"

He and I said, "Yes." And he

said, "No!" That is one of the

iconic I hate that song and so

does he. He was healthy, happy.

One of the few rock 'n' roll

stars that had no excess

whatsoever. He knew what it was

. He had a great family life. I

want to know what it was that

actually brought him down in

the end Pancreatic cancer.

Oh, really. We were supposed to

have lunch at some stage soon

in London. What a shame.

Yes, anyway. Well, you're

lucky that you knew him and got

to know him as a person, but

let's move to the day's

newspapers which is why you are

here. Yes We are seeing a

story in 'The Australian'

around jihad and we're sort of

ignoring the fact that there

are new groups, new sects

developing in Indonesia around

jihad. Fortunately they're

inept. The police in Indonesia

are doing a great job. Many

people do not think that way

towards Indonesian police,

we've seen that before, but

they are doing a great job. They're catching many of these small cells. The unfortunate

thing is and this is what the

international crisis group has

warned, is that what they're

doing is doing a service to

these people is they're putting

them in jail together, a little

cell here, a little block

there, that have no idea what

they're doing when it comes to

jihad, but together in jail

they're learning. Colluding

together Colluding. That may be the next stage that Sydney

Jones and the crisis group need

to highlight the fact and Indonesia needs to keep these

people away from each other in

jail and stop them mess enging

each other Seems fairly

simple. 'The Age' also has a similar story.

Yes, apart from the

photograph of pob Carr showing his his unique ability to dress

like a building block, it says

Indonesia repudiate s

Coalition's asylum claims. This

is Scott Morrison saying the relationship between Australia

and Indonesia is dysfunctional.

Marty Natalegawa, Indonesia's

Foreign Minister says, no, it's

not dysfunctional. Maybe asylum

seekers is the third tier down

on the relationship between the

two countries and we are not at

loggerheads on this story. We

are not at loggerheads, but

does it threaten the more

important relationship, the

terms of trade? Well, it's

interesting that he comes out

and say perhaps not. Instead of

ignoring the question. He says

the relationship is very strong

and he say this before when he

was in Australia with his

Defence Minister and he met

Stephen Smith and Bob Carr

here. I've never seen a Foreign

Minister from Indonesia being

so positive about Australia, so

I think the relationship is

pretty good at the moment, even

though there is perhaps a little bit of tension about,

whether boats should be turned

back. After the next election,

if Tony Abbott wins, it will be

interesting to see what Marty Natalegawa has to say

then. Indeed. OK, Phil, don't

chicken out of the neck story

in the 'Financial Review' Oh,

Michael Have you missed him?

Michael, this is a headline you

could have written. More importantly, I've misseded

you. A love fest here.

This is your headline,

Michael. " Poultry king decides

it's time to chook out." On

the top left there. Ingham is

on the block, another

Michael Yes, I like that.

This is about Bob Ingham and his franchise which has been

around for a long time. He

wants to sell it for $1.5

billion. I think the 'Financial

Review' says it sells $2

billion worth of chook a

year. Wow, that's a lot of chook.

Especially when you see the

consumption changes over the

years. Between 1969 and 1976,

we ate beef, but now chicken.

In his time as head of the

company, the changes have been

extraordinary. He has been in

the game for a long time. You

can understand that he is a bit

fried. (Laughs) before I fry

you into a lovely piece of

Kentucky... Dear, dear, dear.

Let's move on Let's move onto

the 'Herald Sun' who is saying

that in fact we're not a great destination, talking about

being on the nose. It's about

getting hit over the head. At

first they say nice things and

then they're not. The Chinese

think we're stylish and classy,

but not very helpful. So what do you get out

do you get out of that. The

Americans say we're care free

and rugged, but we don't blifr

good quality or value. Indians

say that they're dearing but

we're arrogant, and the Brits

say we're charming and

independent, but untrust

worthy. Well, they would say

that, wouldn't they?

Interesting, isn't it? But one

of the big issues, too, it's of the big issues, too, it's costly to come here now because of the Aussie dollar, so not

the cheap, fabulous destination

that backpackers used to enjoy

and a lot of travellers used to

enjoy. Very expensive to come

here. I think a lot of people

would like to have seen

"expensive" there rather than

arrogant or untrust

worthy. Let's quickly finish

off with the 'Herald Sun' as well.

This is a great story, a This is a great story, a guy

in Philadelphia who had his car

stolen in 1967, an tuft tin

Healy. He goes on he bay and

there it is. It's now, as in

the headline "vintage find."

He bought it from an LA car

dealer for $23,000 and got his

car back. I would pay pore it,

car back. I would pay pore it, too Lovely to see, you,

Phil. Amy joins us with news of

the sport now. The South Sydney

Rabbitohs scored two tries in

the last two minutes to defeat

the Sydney Roosters by just 2

points. The final score 24-22

at the Sydney faubl. Nathan

Merrett scored and then Nathan

Reynolds crossed for a try.

Quaid Cooper will miss this

weekend's Super Rugby

qualifying play-off after being

suspend foder a dangerous

tackle. A SANZAR judicial

hearing has banned Cooper for

one match for making contact

with the neck of centre Berrick

Barnes in Saturday's match in

Brisbane. Cooper says he will consider appealing the

ruling. The misconduct charge

against Carlton skip per Chris Judd has been

Judd has been sent directly to

the AFL tribunal. Judd was

reported for what's being

termed a chicken wing tackle on

North Melbourne's Leigh Adams.

He will appear before the

tribunal tonight and won't be

eligible for a discounted

penalty if he pleads guilty. And in the Tour de

France, Frenchman Fred rig go

as one in a sprint ahead of

Christian Vandevelde. Cadel

Evans is still 3 minutes and 19

seconds behind Bradley Wiggins.

The Tour now has a second rest

day ahead of a 197km stage which includes four big

climbs. Cadel Evans may need

to make his move or forget the

Tour for the year if he doesn't

do something in the next couple

of years You just feel he is a

little off the pace this year.

Just the impression we're getting.

I don't think he has been

perfectly fit as well. And some

questions about his team, but

also a shocking day yesterday

and that certainly won't help

your state of mind haefding into a very difficult into a very difficult couple of day as head of the time trial

on Saturday. Let's hope he

picks up. Thanks, Amy. Vanessa

O'Hanlon is here with the

weather. Cloud over Western

Australia is making its way

east with shower as long a

coast. As a front tracks

towards the south-east, a high is still dominating New South

Wales and we have a developing

trough that is off the

Queensland coast and that is causing showers between Cooktown and Rockhampton and

also in the south-east and

there is early frost over

Queensland's southern interior.

Gusty wind as long the central

around northern coasts: This program is not subtitled

Thanks so much, Vanessa.

Stay with us on ABC News

Breakfast. We're going to be

talking to a former US

ambassador who is saying that

America is failing the people

of Egypt, of course having come

through that dramatic

revolution, still very

uncertain and rocky time as

head fort the people of Egypt.

We'll be talking to her shortly

to find out why she feels

America is failing them We'll

also look at the continually

serious and grim situation in

Syria and also be taking to the

magical waters of Sydney

Harbour it speak to Olympic

sailor Malcolm Page, hoping to

build on his gold medal in

Beijing. A very, very serious

gold medal prospect in

London. He doesn't want to get

lost on a bus. Stay with us. We'll see you soon.

The battle for Damascus - fighting intensifies in the Syrian capital. This Program

is Captioned Live. Queensland's

public servants declare war

over landed job cuts. Campbell Newman promised public servants

had nothing to fear from him!

ALL: Liar! Liar! Labor

re-opens the wounds over Julia Gillard's leadership.

Popularism matters in

politics, and no matter what

political party you're talking

about, if leaders remain

unpopular long new, they will

inevitably stop leading the

party. And in the NRL South

Sydney clinches a thrilling

2-point win over the Roosters.

Good morning, you're watching

ABC News Breakfast on Tuesday,

17th July. I'm Bev O'Connor.

Lovely to have you with us this

morning. Coming up on the

program - why are two

Australians riding their bikes

across three continents? We'll

be talking to one of them in

Washington to find out. And the

two Australian sisters making a

big splash in the pool. It's

Team Campbell/Team Australia against everyone else and

that's really the best way to

put it, otherwise things would

got a bit heated around the

dinner table. The Campbell

sisters will make history when

they compete against each other

at the London Olympics. The

ABC's Lisa Millar caught up

with them in Manchester and

we'll have that interview a

little later in the program,

with all that friendly sisterly

rivalry. Here with no rivalry

is Michael with the

news Absolutely none, Bev!

Fighting intensifies in the

Syrian capital, Damascus.

Opposition activists have

described some parts as being

under siege. Troops are trying

to dislodge rebels in the Midan district. The union

representing Queensland public

servants says a thousand

workplaces could be hit with

strike action. A massive

protest was held outside State Parliament in Brisbane last

night following confirmation

that 3,000 jobs were axed last month. Organisers said Queensland Premier Campbell

Newman could no longer be trusted. Underperforming

teachers are being targeted yet

again, this time by the Federal

Opposition. Education spokesman

Christopher Pyne says a Coalition Government would make

it much easier to get rid of

teacher whose don't make the

grade. He says teacher training

and quality is much more

important than reduced class

sizes or increasing salaries

and he wants to attract high

achievers to the profession by

paying the best teachers more. The Federal Government's

chief Whip has stopped short of

guaranteeing that Julia Gillard

will lead Labor to the next

election. Joel Fitzgibbon says

he hopes and expecting the

Prime Minister's polling number

also improve and that she will

be at the helm for next year's poll, but he goes on to say

that leaders who stay unpopular

don't last. A new report says

Australia's re