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ABC News -

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(generated from captions) Live. This Program Is Captioned

Tonight - desperate dip loam

is a as Syrian rebels strike at

the heart of the Assad regime.

Clashes outside court as a

teenager is charged over a

killing in King's Cross.

Unclassified. Our top spy goes

public about his mission. I

think it's time to shed some

light on the critical work

being done by the men and women of the Australian Secret

Intelligence Service. And

Cadel concedes he has no chance

of winning the four four. Obviously this year things haven't been coming

This Program Is Captioned together.

Live.

Good evening. Craig Allen

with ABC News. Syrian rebels

have struck at the heart of the

regime in Damascus, killing

three senior government figures

and escalating an already

brutal conflict. Among the dead

are the Defence Minister and

the President's brother-in-law.

The rebels have claimed

responsibility for the bombing

and are now predicting the

imminent fall of the Assad

government. But the regime has

vowed to hit back even harder.

And there are reports already

that government forces are

shelling rebel-held areas of

the capital. Middle East

correspondent Matt Brown reports. The rebels say it's

the beginning of the end of the

regime. That's far from certain, but it is probably the

start of a new and more bloody

phase in the civil war. Opposition activists posted

unconfirmed footage on the Internet showing burned-out

buildings after a fourth day of

fighting in Damascus. The

combat was peppered around the

city. Syrian state television

even showed government troops

in action in the suburbs. And

the rebels struck their most

serious blow yet against the

regime's inner circle. The

Defence Minister Daoud Rahja

was killed in an audacious

attack on a key security

building in the centre of

Damascus. He'd been attending a

regular meeting of senior

officials and his deputy the President's brother-in-law as

well as a former Defence

Minister were also killed. This

is a decisive battle. It's a

decisive battle not only in

Damascus but in Syria as a

whole. They're wrong to

underestimate us. Opposition activists responded with more

video which they said showed

celebrations in cities like

Aleppo and Idlib which have so

far borne much of the brunt of

the Syrian army's attacks.

Open defiance of a regime which

is now expected to wage an

increasingly brutal campaign.

The rebels claim the mope men

tum is on their side. They say

they found these armoured vehicles apparently abandoned in a town near the flashpoint

city of Homs but the regime

still has powerful forces under

its control. As diplomacy falters thousands of Syrians

continue to flood into

neighbouring countries like

Jordan. The least they can do

is arm the opposition and

implement a no-fly zone. If

they do not want to interfere. They've abandoned their homes

for now but not their country.

As the fighting in Syria

intensifies, there's a

diplomatic showdown looming at

the UN. The United States is

determined to end the 16-month

stalemate and force President

Bashir al-Assad to step down.

But America and other western

nations are facing tough

opposition from Syria that's

main ally Russia. US and

British Defence Chiefs met at the Pentagon. Tomorrow Britain

takes delivery of its first

test aircraft in the expensive

Joint Strike Fighter program.

But the violence in Syria

overshadowed talks hey long

with concerns about the

security of the Assad regime's chemical weapons

stockpile. This is a situation

that is rapidly spinning out of

control. I think what we're

seeing is an opposition which

is emboldened, clearly an

opposition which has access

increasingly to weaponry . The

White House says as long as

President Assad holds on, the

violence and chaos will

worsen. I think the incident

today makes clear that Assad is

losing control hand that all of

our partners, internationally,

need to come together and

support a transition. In New

York, an expected vote at the

Security Council backing Kofi

Annan's peace plan and

threatening sanctions was

delayed. Russia and the US

remain sharply divided over how

to deal with the crisis. Barack

Obama phoned President Putin,

afterwards officials said they

agreed to work toward a

solution, but there whereas no

sign of a breakthrough. If you

ally with Assad will you end up

on the wrong side of history.

West is accused of inciteth the

Syrian opposition. Undeterred

Obama has extended US sanctions

against the regime. The

Security Council vote is now

expected to happen tomorrow but

after the bombing Russian

officials say any consensus is

further out of reach. Israel

has blamed Iran for the bombing

of a bus packed with Israeli

tourists in Bulgaria. Seven

people were killed in the

attack, which Bulgarian

authority the say was carried

out by a suicide bomber.

Witnesses say there was an

explosion just after a person

boarded the bus at the airport

of a Black Sea resort town. The

resulting fire spread to other

buss. The airport was cordoned

off and flights diverted as up

to 30 survivors were rushed to

nearby hospitals. The bombing

came on the 18th anniversary

half deadly attack on a Jewish

community centre in charge

charge and Israel suspects the

Iranians. - Iranians. - Argentina. We're

determined who identify who

sent them, who executeed it and

to settle the account. Israel

has promised a forceful

response. There were wild

scenes outside a Sydney court

today as a youth faced charges

of murdering an 18-year-old boy

in King's Cross 2 days ago.

18-year-old Kieren Loveridge

was denied bail and shortly

after one of his friends

knocked a news cameraman to the

ground. Karl Hoerr reports.

Kieren Loveridge shielded his

appearance from cameras on his

way into court, but CCTV

footage is said to form a key

past evidence that led to his arrest. We have never lost

sight of the need for us to

find justice for Thomas and his

family. Loveridge was arrested

last night at the Belmore

sports ground where he was

watching a rugby league

coaching clinic. His court appearance was relatively

unvery ntful until supporters

spilled outside. One man lashed

out at television crews.

Channel 9 freelance cameraman

Mario Conte was knocked to the

ground hitting his head on the

foot pact. He was taken to

hospital and a 17-year-old was

arrested nearby and charged

with assault occasioning actual

bodily harm. Kieren Loveridge

was remanded in custody. His

lawyer said he would be

applying for bail next week but

wouldn't elaborate outside. No,

no comment sorry. The attack

on Thomas Kelly may have been

random but apparently it wasn't

isolated. We will allege there

was an assault that occurred

prior to the assault on Thomas.

Hand that there were assaults

that occurred after the assault

on Thomas. There was physical

force used in each of the three

incidents outside Mr Kelly. And

not dissimilar in nature. The

case has triggered a continuing

debate about public safety in

King's Cross, including the

issues of Liquor Licensing,

trading hours and

transport. There has been

intense public interest,

rightly so, due to the nature

of the name. Thomas Kelly's

funeral will be held at his old

school Kings in Parramatta

tomorrow.

Police are preparing to press

charges against a young Canberra driver following the

death of a 17-year-old boy

overnight. The teenager was a

passenger in a car which struck

a tree on Eggleston Crescent in

Chifley shortly before 1am. The

boy died at the scene. Two

other passengers were taken to

hospital with minor injuries.

Police are questioning the

driver as they piece together

the circumstances that led up

to the crash. He was also 17

years of age. And he's been

assisting the police with their

inquiries. And there's likely

to be charges and he may face

court in the future. The boy's

death brings Canberra's road

toll this year to 6. The ACT's Auditor-General wants the

States and Territories to work

together to prevent a repeat of

the Canberra Hospital data

doctoring scandal. An assembly committee today questioned Maxine Cooper about her

investigation. A hospital

executive has confessed to

tampering with patient records.

But it's believed that others

were involved. Dr Cooper found

poor security in the data

software system made it easy to

fudge the figures. She says the

problem is not unique to the Territory. This is something

that's occurreded in a few

jurisdiction,. It would seem,

given the federal fudging that's involved, it would seem

that addressing these issues in

a cooperative way around all

hospitals would be highly productive. Dr Cooper says

there's too much focus on

numbers when measures hospital

performance. After 60 years,

cloaked in secrecy, Australia's

overseas spy agency has come in

from the cold. The head of ASIS

has spoken publicly about the

service for the first time.

Nick Warner says it's facing

its most challenging and

volatile period ever, with the

combined threats of terrorism,

weapons of mass destruction and

cyber security. Narda Gilmore

reports. It is by necessity a shadowy business. The way

things have worked out, I'm the

spy that came in with the

cold. Head of the country's

most secret organisation Nick

Warner is the only ASIS member

who can be publicly

identified. I think it's time

to shed some light on the

critical work being done by the

men and women of the Australian

Secret Intelligence Service. A

service so secret its very

existence wasn't publicly

declared for more than 20

years. ASIS operates out of the Department of Foreign Affairs

and Trade in Canberra,

independent of Australia's

domestic spy agency hair yo,

it's equivalent to the UK's MI6

or the American CIA. Nick

Warner took over as

Director-General three years

ago and says ASIS is now at a

pivotal point in its

history. Our work has gained a

new urgency and importance.

ASIS agents are scattered

across the globe in strategic

locations. It's been a decade

of dramatic change. Boom! Oh

man! Terrorism, weapons of

mass destruction and cyber

security threats have redefined

ASIS's role and reach. ASIS now

liaises with over 170 different

foreign intelligence services

in almost 70 countries. ASIS

agents have taken on a new role

providing tactical support to

Australian troops. It's

difficult to see a situation in

future where the ADF would

deploy without ASIS alongside.

He's also confirmed ASIS agents

are busy collecting crucial

information on people smuggling

networks. ASIS distributes

thousands of intelligence

reports every year. In the past

decade its annual budget has

grown from just over 50 million

to 250 million dollars. Nick

Warner's not under estimating

the challenges ahead, with

rapidly changing technology and

increased risk for

officers. ASIS's operational

sphere will become more

challenging, volatile and

dangerous. And for the most

part, still secret.

The outgoing head of the Australian Human Rights

Commission has taken a swipe at

Australia's strict immigration controls. Catherine Branson

says mandatory detention is

inhumane. And is calling on the

government to release asylum

seekers even if they don't have

security clearances. Catherine

Branson is leaving the nation's

top human rights job with a

parting shot to government and

our security agencies.

Especially when it comes to

asylum seekers who fail ASIO

security checks. We do know

it's possible to fail a

security assessment without

necessarily being arisk to the

Australian community. Ms

Branson says ASIO is not

obliged to give reasons, so

it's impossible to seek

judicial review and up to 50

are languishing indefinitely in

the nation's detention

centres. There's no realistic

prospect of sending them to third countries and because

they've been found to be

refugees they can't go back to

their own countries. So we need

to find something humane. As

both President and Human Rights

Commissioner, Ms Branson has branded Australia's immigration

system as the strictest in the

Western World. And there's no

evidence that it works. It's

expensive. It is damaging to

people. I think we have to ask

why are we doing this? But her

final report card does give the

government a tick when it comes

to its overall humanitarian

program and increasingly moving

asylum seekers out of

detention. We applaud this. If

we are to have mandatory

detention, then we need more

people detained in the

community. Right now there are

almost 300 children in the

nation's detention centres.

Another 635 are living in the

community.

The AFP has referred parts of

its investigation into Peter

Slipper to the Director of Public Prosecutions. In April,

a former staffer lodged a

complaint against the

parliamentary Speaker, accusing

him of signing blank CabCharge

vouchers. The AFP says it's

finished its investigation and

has forwarded material to the

DPP to determine whether

further action is required.

It's understood Mr Slipper has

not been interviewed by police

in relation to the matter. The

rising incidence of Type 2

diabetes is leaving more and

more Australians with kidney

failure. Sufferers need

dialysis or a transplant to

survive and as Sophie Scott

reports donor organs are in

short supply. Jack Sloper has

Type 2 diabetes. And like many

others with the condition, has

been diagnosed with serious

kidney disease. I've learnt

that you've got to manage them

'cause if you don't manage your

diabetes, what little kidney

function I have got left, I'm

going to lose. New figures

reveal a massive jump in the

number of people being

diagnosed with end-stage kidney

disease. By that stage,

patients need regular dialysis

or a kidney transplant. The

number of people receiving

dialysis or have had a

transplant for the end-stage

kidney disease has increased

quite substantially and has in

fact tripled since 1991. The

main reason is the huge

increase in people being

diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

High levels of sugar in the

blood of diabetes patients

causes damage to the millions

of tiny filtering units in the

kidneys. Up to a third of

diabetes patients will develop

kidney disease. Kidney health

Australia really believes we

should be doing more to help

prevent the development of

kidney nail lure by finding

kidney disease earlier and

managing it better. There's

also been a significant rise in

the number of older people

getting kidney disease. And

with increasing numbers with

serious kidney problems, it's

placing pressure on the number

of donor organs. Some people

are missing out because there's

simply not enough donated

organs to go Australia. In

Australia only 6% of people on

dialysis programs this year

will be offered a kidney

transplant. For the majority

dialysis is the ongoing major

therapy. Health experts say

the problem is only going to

get worse. The number of

Australians with Type 2

diabetes is predicted to double

over the next 40 years. A central Queensland woman is

being closely monitored after

suffering a high level of

exposure to the deadly Han dra

virus. Health authorities say

she was nursing a foal as it

died from the disease on a

property near Rockhampton on

Sunday night. High degree means

there's been significant

exposure to bodily fluids both respiratory secretions and or

blood. The woman's partner and

a vet have had low level exposure. Everybody's probably

on edge about it. The woman's

being flown to a Brisbane

hospital where she will be

offered an experimental drug

aimed at preventing the

illness. Four people have died

from Hendra since it was

discovered in Queensland 18

years ago. Opponents of Western

Australia's massive kem plea

gas hub are stepping up their

campaigns with one high profile

activist taking the fight

directly to those funding and

supporting the project.

Business man Geoffrey Cousins

says he will apply a similar strategy to that which succeeded in stopping Gunns's

billion dollar pulp mill in

Tasmania. Businessman and

activist Geoffrey Cousins is

best known for successfully

leading the charge against the

guns pulp mill in Tasmania. Now

he's going to use the same

tactics to fight Woodside's $34

billion Browse Basin

project. The opposition to this

project isn't going away. It's

getting stronger and stronger

and stronger. The gas hub

received environmental approval

this week, but Mr Cousins says

he will be targeting the

project's financial backers and

their customers. Lobbying them

to pull out or risk damaging

their reputations. Happily,

people power is a very strong

thing in the world these days.

It's changing governments. The

Greens have welcomed his

involvement. And say the Prime Minister's popularity will also

be on the line. This is one of

the biggest environmental

issues facing this country, and the Prime Minister

underestimates the impact it

may have Australia-wide if she

does not pay attention to this

issue. Protesters gather the

outside Woodside's offices in

Perth, claiming the company's

second quarter report leaves

out crucial information about

the Browse project such as

rising costs and delays. We

want shareholders to be aware

that James Price Point has been

a disaster for Woodside. There

is every chance with the

significant community

opposition, with the

environmental problems that it

faces , that it may not go hey

head. Woodside was contacted

for comment but only issued a

statement acknowledging the

protests.

To finance now. Surging

energy stocks pushed the local

share market sharply higher

today and the Australian dollar

hit a record high against the

euro. Here's Alan Kohler. The

oil price didn't go up much

today but it did touch $09 a

barrel briefly in New York last

night for the first time since

May. And it's gone up 15.6%

this month, because of a

combination of the civil war in

Syria and stronger American

demand. And the history thing

today is that Woodside's big

new Pluto gas project off WA

has got off to a flying start,

with the company upping its

production forecasts.

Today autos economic news was

the quarterly business survey from NAB. Business conditions

and confidence both weakened

again. The gloom is deepening

each time they are scaed how

they feel. These indexes are

now back to both below zero.

And well below the levels that

prevailed before the GFC. And

that's finance. Cadel Evans has

conceded is quest to win in

year's Tour de France is

effectively over. The

Australian blamed a stomach bug

after he lost more than 4

minutes to the other contenders

during a tough stage during the

- through the Pyrenees W just

four days remaining Evans lies

seventh, more than 8 minutes

behind the leader Bradley Wiggins. The first of two

gruelling days in the Pyrenees gave Bradley Wiggins' rivals one of their last chances to

stop him becoming the tour's

first British winner. Only

after the 197 kilometre stage did defending champion Cadel

Evans reveal he had little hope

of being issues. A few stomach

issues just before the race.

Needing to rein in time on

Wiggins and not concede any

more to Italian Nibali. The

Australian nestled into the

peloton not launching an

attack. He dropped to seventh

in the overall standings. 8

minutes and 6 seconds behind

Wiggins. You have to be

optimistic but also realistic

and obviously this year things

haven't been coming together.

The stage provided another

triumph for evergreen Frenchman

Thomas Voeckler. Having enjoyed

his time in a large breakaway

group, he excelled at altitude

to dash a minute and who

seconds clear of Sorensen.

Voeckler has the king of the

mountains jersey for the last

alpine stage. Wiggins as

unchallenged as he eased his

way through the early climbs

but assisted by Chris Froome he

had to work to make sure Nibali

didn't close the gap. The big

three finished together. The

team were incredible today

right from the off. Yeah,

that's another day ticked. With

one more alpine day, a flat

stage and a time trial

remaining, he's poised to wear yellow into Paris.

The Queensland Reds are

expecting a fast and open game

when they host South Africa's

Sharks in the SuperRugby

elimination final on Saturday.

The defending champions are on

a six-game winning streak but they're wary of a Sharks theme

that likes to play an attacking

brand of rugby. Only one five

from six. They've got some boat

tensy about them. The Australian Rugby Union has appointed a female director to

its board for the first time.

Business executive Anne sherry

says one of her key objectives

will be increasing

participation in the sport. The

Australian cricket team will

make on the West Indies at

Manuka Oval in February. It

will be the first time the

Australian team has played in Canberra and the day nighter

will be part of the centenary

celebrations. Meanwhile,

Australian all-rounder Shane

Watson has signed a three year

deal with the Brisbane Heat in

the Twenty20 Big Bash

competition. Watson represents New South Wales in the

Sheffield Shield but was

attracted by the lure of

playing a handful of games in

his home State. Injury

prevented Watson from playing

for the Sydney Sixers last

season, and he admits it's

difficult to be an all-rounder

juggling Test and limited overs duties. There that's no doubt

that over the next few years I

will have to make some

decisions on exactly what I

will do with all the three

forms, but I do love every

single aspect of every form

from test convict down to twin

defend. Watson is recovering

from a calf injury but says he

will be fit for the Twenty20

World Cup in September. In

London, an unprecedented

program of drug testing is

under way with the Olympic

Games now a little more than a week ago. Australian athletes

have already undergone hundreds

of tests. While they're regards

as a nuisance, everyone accepts

they're a necessary part of

keeping sport clean. Australia's Olympic hopefuls

ready for the sports challenge

of their lives and ready always

for a drugs test. Anywhere, any

time. When you get a knock on

the door and it's happened to

me, I get at home at 6am after

getting off a flight from

America, it is frustrating. And the Australian Olympic

Committee says drug testing is

a vital if annoying element of

modern sport. It's part and

parcel of being an athlete.

Already, the London 2012

anti-doping laboratory is open.

A team of 150 scientists will

test 6,000 athletes during the

games. With an eye to the

future. All of the tests that

are taken during the games will

be kept for eight years. So if

there any test or chemical

that's found in the future that

wasn't known at the moment,

then those athletes can be

brought back and called to

attention later on. In the

tourist hot spots of London,

the Olympic influx has begun.

The excitement beginning to build. But in the nearby

theatres, producers are worried

the Olympics may draw crowds

and money away, threatening

entire productions. One show is

definitely going ahead. But it

will be shortened. The Opening Ceremony of the Olympics will

be cut by half an hour. A BMX

bike routine dumped. It's been

cut for a very simple reason.

We need to get people out of

the Olympic Park onto the

transport system and back into

Central London before the last

trains leave. For those

performers, surviving the cut rehearsals continue and a once

in a lifetime dream is still a

reality.

Unlike London it's been a

magic day in Canberra. Pretty

Chris top start W minus 4 at the airport and down in the

valley then a sunny top of 13 but you can't fault the weather

at the moment. And there's

plenty more in store.

There a pool of coal air in

the bight and over the south

aest with coastal cloud up the

eastern seaboard. A cold front will cross Tasmania bringing

some rain and mountain snow,

and a low pressure trough off

the coast will push some more

moisture up the east coast

tomorrow.

Rebel held areas of the

Syrian capital Damascus are

coming under heavy bombardment

after a suicide bomber killed

three senior officials of the

Assad regime. An 18-year-old

Sydney man has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged with the murder

of Thomas Kelly during a

violent rampage in Sydney's

kings cross. That's the news

for now. Next up, 7.30 with

Leigh Sales. And the move to

end provocation as a defence

for men who kill women. Thanks for your company. Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI