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(generated from captions) Captioned This Program Is

Captioned Live. Tonight, the

PM's plan to put Australian

schools at the top of the

class. I want each of you, the

whole of your nation, to join

with me in this crusade to

change children' lives. The

ACT Liberals commit hundreds of

millions of dollars in a series

of election pledges. We want

to give Canberrans a choice.

And the Defence Minister clashes with Afghanistan's

leader over a deadly raid by Australian troops. It is

wrong. That is not factually

correct and this point has been

made strongly by Australia's

ambassador to Afghanistan. Good

evening, Craig Allen with ABC

News. Julia Gillard has

unveiled Labor's long-awaited

school funding overhaul. The

Prime Minister has backed the

recommendations of the Gonski

report into school education

and has set an ambitious goal

but children who start school

next year will graduate from

one of the world's top five

education systems. The plan

gets an A for ambition but on

detail the Opposition's giving

it a fail. Chief political

correspondent Mark Simkin

begins our coverage. The full

funding package is still three

elections and seven Budgets

away. These children will be

lucky to see it. I've got to

go and give a speech about your

education. Any hints? Julia

Gillard's identified education

as the new great moral

challenge of our time. I want

each of you, the whole of our

nation, to join me in this

crusade to change children's

lives. Crusades don't come

cheap. This one will cost $6.5

billion each year. The Prime

Minister won't say where the

Federal share will come from or

how much the states are

expected to chip in. I want to

conclude these discussions by

the time of the first COAG

meeting next year but I won't

be held to ransom by states who

aren't genuinely committed to

reform. The centrepiece of the

reform is a new schools funding

formula. It will apply to all

schools public and private.

Schools with disadvantaged

children will receive more

money. That means a State

school at Woorabinda outside

Rockhampton is likely to be a

big winner. Its motto is "

proud and deadly." Currently,

Queensland provides most of its

funding while the Commonwealth

contributes $340,000 annualy,

significant less than it gives

to a wealthy private school

like Kings in Sydney. Funding

should recognise that children are individuals not

standardised widgets. Julia

Gillard wants Australia to

smarten up, announcing an

aspiration of being in the top

5 countries for reading, maths

and science by 2025. To be a

teacher, uni applicants will

need to be in the top 30% in

literacy and numeracy. Student

teachers will spend at least

one term in the classroom and

once they graduate they'll face

annual performance reviews. The

plan gets full marks for

ambition but on the detail it's

incomplete. Add last week's dental scheme to the mix and

Labor's announced more than $10

billion in spending without

saying where the money's coming

from. I think the Prime

Minister's speech can beast be

described as all feathers and

great meat. The great nothingness, the great

blancmange. Whatever it s

Labor's hoping it's an

electoral battleground. Julia

Gillard now needs the states

and Territories to sign up to

her plan. The Liberal Premiers

are cautious, warning they won't hand over money without

more detail and adequate consultation. Individual schools want to know what it

means for their budgets.

Political reporter Nick Dole

explains. At the elite Canberra

Grammar School, year 11

students revise ahead of modern

history exams. The head of

schools also studying history,

Justin Garrick says in the past education funding models have

been a mess. Should all

schools receive exactly the

same amount? No, probably not,

but they should all be - the

funding should be allocated to

all schools on rational

principles rather than a range

of historical accidents. The

new model has parents at

Sydney's Clovelly Primary

interested. The school relies

on the P and C to help pay for

teachers, books, even pencil

sharpeners. It's pretty

shocking really, the state of

it, and you can go and ask the

department for more funds but they've got what they've got. They should have more

under the proposed arrangements. Teachers would

prefer a faster timetable but they're still satisfied. What

the Government has announced

today is historic, it's

significant because it finally

puts to rest and sets aside a

funding regime that has

contributed to a widening of

achievement gaps. While the

pinsples of the plan have

schools support, the Prime Minister could still face a

brawl with her State and

Territory counterparts. Before

they give the project the tick,

they want to see some sums. Victoria says the

Commonwealth's mounting a major

intervention. Without any

details, without any money,

without any discussion and

without any confidence about

the future. It's Government by

media. It's go and give a

speech, go and do a press

conference and then sort out

the detail. The Prime Minister

want the detail finalised by

early next year. They've been

under fire lately for a dearth

of election promises but today

the Canberra Liberals unveiled

a cluster of policies. The

party released a 5-point plan

to boost services and lower

taxes. The Labours are

splashing cash across the areas

of health, education and

housing but their opponents are

warning it will come at a

significant cost. More than a

dozen policies and over half a billion dollars in spending,

all promised in one morning.

The reason we've gone out with this in the way we have is

because we want to give

Canberrans a clear choice. Zed

Seselja says he's got a plan to

tackle Dee issues including

cost of living, education and

of course health. With the new

subacute hospital, urgent care

clinics in the suburbs to take

pressure off our emergency

department. My health plan ,

you mean? The urgent care

centres that you walk into

presumably. And there are some

similarities. If elected, the

Liberals are promising to fund

the already announced sub acute

hospital, create walking clinics but unlike Labor's

plan, they'll include doctors,

set up a fund to attract more

GPs and invest in preventative

health measures. After already

announcing more money for

private schools, today the

Opposition pledged cash for

public schools. They'll also

boost funding for teacher

training and school tounslers

and create an independent

commissioner to manage

disputes. On fees and charges,

the parties are poles apart

with the Opposition promising

to scrap Labor's tax overhaul.

Instead, they'll boost support

for first home buyers and

reduce the tax on multiunit

developments. While the party

faithful embraced the plan,

opponents say the figures don't

stack up. You're going to have

less money comeing in but

delivering more. It's simply

unbelievable and I don't think

Canberrans are mugs. I don't

see how that can be done

without significant slashing of other services that are available to the public at the

moment or slashing of jobs.

This morning the Liberals gave

journalists an off-the-record

briefing to counter their opponents' attacks and explain

how their policies are costed

but despite assurances that the

numbers are sound, the party

won't be releasing them

publicly, however, they have

promised to submit every policy

to Treasury under the new

election costings bill. ACT

Labor is promising to set up a

specialised court to deal with

workplace safety issues if

re-elected. Labor says it's

concerned about the number of

deaths at Canberra workplaces

over the past 12 months and

setting up an industrial

Magistrates Court is part of

its response. It's designed to give the magistrates the

opportunity to develop specialised skills in dealing

with occupational health and

safety matters when they come

to the court and that can only

be a good thing. It's a similar

model to the existing

Children's Court. The Government says it won't

require any extra funding. The Federal Government has strongly

rejected claims by the Afghan

President that Australian

troops were on an unauthorised

mission when they shot dead two

insurgents over the weekend.

The troops were searching for

the man who killed three

Australian soldiers and the Defence Minister Stephen Smith

says the raid was sankedzed by

Afghan authorities. -

sanctioned by Afghan

authorities. The chief of the

Defence Force marked Legacy

week by honouring the

organisation that's cared for

the families of fallen soldiers

for almost 90 years. He said

Legacy stood ready to serve the

families of Australia's latest combat casualties in

Afghanistan, delivering on the

vision of its founders. They

would be proud to know their

thoughtfulness and kindness are

reflected in the legacy of care

shared with new generations of

veterans' families learning to

live without a partner or

parent. But in the midst of

grief has come high-level criticism of an Australian

operation hunting the Afghan

soldier who allegedly shot

three Australian soldiers. A

statement says Hamid Karzai

strongly condemns the

unilateral military operation

conducted by the Australian

troops which the statement says

was carried out without any

prior coordination or approval

of the provincial authorities.

The defence mince says that

statement... Is wrong that. Is

not factually correct and this

point has been made strongly by

Australia's ambassador to

Afghanistan, to the palace and

presidential officials. The

Minister says the operation was

fully authorised and involved

60ADF personnel and 80 members

of the Afghan national army.

The inter national security

assist ance force leadership as

also confirmed it was a

sanctioned raid but Mr Smith

couldn't explain the Afghan

President's severe criticism.

From time to time there are

misunderstandings about

operations but we have made our

view to the palace crystal

clear. Two insurgents were

killed in the operation and one

insurgeant leader has been

detained. The search for the

gunman continues. The bodies of

the five Australian soldiers

are due to arrive in Australia

mid week An Iranian born

Australian citizen has admitted

his part in organising an

asylum-seeker boat that crashed

at Christmas Island, killing 50

people. The 41-year-old had

been due to stand trial but

pleaded guilty to four charges

before the case started. This is Ali Khorram Heydarkhani, the

man alleged to be behind four

asylum-seeker boats that

arrived in Australia between

June 2010 and January 2011. One

of those boats crashed into

rocks at Christmas Island,

killing 50 men, women and

children. Even after that

tragedy, prosecutors say

Heydarkhani organised another

asylum-seeker boat. Heydarkhani

was arrested in Indonesia in

January last year, four months

late here was extradited to

Perth to face people smuggling

charges. He had been due to

face a 12-week trial but at the

start of proceedings and after

negotiations with prosecutors,

he pleaded guilty to four of

the 14 charges against him. The

remaining counts are expected

to be withdrawn. The full

details of Heydarkhani's

offences will be outlined in

the District Court on Wednesday

but he won't be sentenced until

mid October when he faces a

maximum jail term of 20 years.

You're all aware the minimum's

8 years. I think it's going to be substantially more than that. We'll see what

happens. Heydarkhani's activities were first exposed

by the ABC's 'Four Corners'

program in August 2010, four

months before the boat crashed

at Christmas Island. The ABC

also later revealed that in

2009 Indonesian police detained

Heydarkhani for questioning but

let him go because at the time

Indonesia didn't have any

people smuggling laws. The Governor-General Quentin Bryce

has been reduced to tears

during a visit to a Syrian

refugee camp in Jordan. Tens of

thousands of Syrians are

fleeing their country's civil

war every week. Large numbers

of children are among them and

Ms Bryce was visibly shaken

after talking with women about

their quest for safety. Middle

East correspondent Matt Brown

reports from Zaartri camp. The

Zaartri camp near Jordan's

border with Syria is a dusty

wind-blown refuge which offers

an insight into the civil war.

The numbers here tell a story

of increasing attacks on

civilians. The camp's

population has grown in just a

month to 25,000. Half of them

are children and 5,000 are less

than 4 years old. When the

Governor-General arrived, she

was told about families who've

suffered repeated attacks and

she cast the spotlight on the

plight of women and children.

I think it's enormously

distressing for all of us to

reflect on the huge numbers of

little children who are here.

Increase eing ly hundreds every

day who are under 4, just tiny

little children whose health is

very vulnerable in this

dust. Carbon price heard from

mothers including Fatima who

are simply desperate for their

children to be safe.

TRANSLATION: We couldn't take

it anymore. We ran away with

our kids. Our children were

getting killed in the street.

This cannot continue. After

listening to their stories, Ms

Bryce found it impossible to

fight back the tears. The

mothers and the grandmothers

and the aunties, they're

absolutely exhausted. They've

been through enormous stresses

for such a long time. As the

crisis in Syria deepens, the

refugees are flooding in to

neighbouring countries and the

cost is going through the roof.

Just a week ago the UN Refugee

Agency and Jordanian Government

said they'd need $429 million

to run this camp. By Friday,

their estimate had climbed to

700 million. Zaartri camp is

being expanded to house another

55,000 people and at this rate

it will fill up fast. In

Pakistan, there's been a new

twist in the case of a teenage

girl with learning difficulties

who's accused of blasphemy. A

Muslim cleric has been arrested

for attempting to frame the

14-year-old Christian girl.

It's alleged the imam planted

pages from the Koran inside the

girl's bag which also contained

burnt papers. Witnesses allege

the imam said it was the only

way to expel Christians from

the area. The girl has been

held in high-security jail

since her arrest more than two

weeks ago. Democrats are

gathering in North Carolina for

their national convention this

week but it may not be the

vote-booster the Obama camp is

hoping for. A poor economy and

planned protests could ruin

their ambitions. A new poll has

found Barack Obama and Mitt

Romney with neck and neck, both

with 45% voter support. North

America correspondent Lisa

Miller reports from Charlotte,

North Carolina. When Democrats chose North Carolina for their

convention they were hoping to

point to an economic success

story but unemployment is above

the national average and the

State is struggling. I'm a

victim where I live. Six people

in my neighbourhood ended up

out of work. It's a swing State

that Barack Obama will find it

hard to hang on to. I think

they're not going to get any

more votes in North Carolina

from having the convention in

Charlotte than if they'd have

had it in Nashville but I'm

sure somebody had a grand idea

as to why it would help. If the

polls are pointing to a tight

race, the President is dashing

through three other

battleground states before arriving in North Carolina,

trying to blunt any momentum

Republicans got from their

convention. We've got more

doors of opportunity than we

ought to open for every single

person who's willing to work

hard and walk through them

that's why I'm asking you for a

second term. If he's counting

on a warm welcome in Charlotte

he might be dis appointed, with

protesters targeting the

convention. There are dozens of

groups involved here but they

are united in one thing, their

disdain of both Republicans and

Democrats. There's really no

choice between Mitt Romney and

Obama. Their anger was

unmistakable but their numbers

were far lower than the 10,000

organisers had hoped for. In

Russia, the impact of the now

notorious Pussy Riot trial is

being felt by the country's

orthodox church. The case has

drawn attention to the church's

political links with the

Kremlin and it's been too much

for one ordained Deacon. He's

told the ABC the trial has

inspired him to leave the

church and face the consequences. Moscow

correspondent Norman Hermant

reports from Tambov, Russia. In

Tambov, like all over this

country, the Russian other dox

church and the Government are

almost one so what Sergey

Baranov did here after the

Pussy Riot verdict made

headlines. After 15 years as a

Deacon, he broke with the

church that had been the focus

of his life's work and he did

it by telling the world why on

his Facebook page.

TRANSLATION: It was the very

last straw when I realised that

concepts such as mercy and

forgiveness had been shredded

to pieces. He also condemns

church scandals such as

numerous fatal accidents

involving priests in luxury

cars and a $30,000 watch

Photoshopped off church

patriarch Kirill's wrist except

for the reflection on the

table. It all feeds the growing

unease, says this sociologist,

over the deepening ties between

the church and Vladamir Putin.

The church is now losing ground

actually because they went too

far. They came too close to the

State, they became too corrupt,

they became too rich, too

wealthy. Sergey Baranov says

the Pussy Riot verdict proves

the church leadership and the

Kremlin are now one and the same.

TRANSLATION: Now the

church-State merger is such

that it causes not only

mistrust amongst the people but

the people think very

negatively about it. Despite a

smear campaign and harassment,

Sergey Baranov says he's

determined to rebuild his life.

It won't be easy in a country

with the influence of the

Russian orthodox church

everywhere. A Queensland family

company which manufactures pet

food has bought the financially

troubled chocolate-maker

Darrell Lea. VIP pet foods,

based on the Gold Coast, paid

an undisclosed sum of money for

Darrell Lea. The new owners say

chocolates will continue to be

sold through retailers,

wholesalers and exporters but

more than 400 jobs will go with

the remaining 27 Darrell Lea

retail stores, including one in

Canberra, will close at the end

of the week. About 80 jobs will

be retained to run a new purpose-built factory. To

finance now and new economic

data confirms the Australian

economy is getting weaker but

as Alan Kohler reports, there

aren't many forecasters who

expect the Reserve Bank to cut

interest rates tomorrow. There

was a huge amount of data about

the economy today so fasten

your seatbelts. None of it was

any good by the way. Retail

sales down a surprisingly large

0.8% in July after rising 1.2%

in June. Department store sales

slumped by a pretty amazing

10%, the biggest fall in 7

years. Here's how it looks on a

chart. The total is returning

to trend after the lift due to

the carbon tax compensation but

plook at that drop for

department stores. The

performance of manufacturing

index jumped 5 points but it's

below 50 the level that separates contraction from

expansion. It's still

contracting. Job advertisements

are down 2.3% in August and

9.6% compare would this time

last year. Company profits fell

0.7% in the June quarter.

Inflation kicked up 0.6% in

August according to the private

TD Securities gauge and finally

house price s were flat in

August which means they're

still down 2.4% for the year.

Here's a chart of the main

capital cities. The headlines

are that Darwin is the only

city seeing rising prices. In

Sydney, prices are almost flat

but not quite. In Melbourne,

Brisbane and Perth they're

falling and I'm sorry I

couldn't get Hobart into the

chart. The share market closed

about a third of 1% higher

following on from a positive

session on Wall Street after the Federal Reserve chairman

Ben Bernanke said he might

print more money. In Asia today

the Shanghai market is up but

Tokyo went down and the

Australian Dollar continues to

deflate slowly with the Chinese economy, about which there was some

some more data today as well.

The manufacturing index that

is, down again, indicating

slightly faster contraction.

That's finance. Sam Stosur is

through to the quarterfinals of

the US Open after a win over Britain's Laura Robson. Lleyton

Hewitt's run came to an end but

he put up a fight against David

Ferrer. On centre court, men's

number two seed and defending

champion Novak Djokovic was

victorious over Julien

Benneteau. Stosur is the

defending women's champion and started well against her

18-year-old opponent. But the

Australian failed to convert no

less than nine match points.

Stosur eventually got the job

done and is still yet to drop a

set in the tournament. The

count' down for the NRL finals

is under way with today's traditional captain's call in

Sydney. The action starts

Friday night with the

much-anticipated clash between

minor Premiers Canterbury and

defending champions Manly.

Daniela Intili reports. It was

all smiles as the eight captains gathered around rugby

league's most coveted trophy

but it's serious business for

the teams playing under a new

finals format. You know with

the new system in place we get

a week one home semifinal

against the big brother, the

Broncos. And big brother

didn't seem too concerned when

asked about Brisbane's recent

inconsistent form ahead of Saturday's elimination final.

What happened? The wheels fell

off? Yeah, we changed the tyres though. It's alright.

We're back. The Sharks head to

Canberra on Sunday for a

sudden-death match against a

Raiders side coming off five

straight wins. Null null remains confident Todd Carney

will play despite picking up an

ankle injury in yesterday's

loss to the Cowboys. He'll be fine. No doubt in the world

toddy will be OK. I don't even

know if he'll miss a training session. Of greater concern

for the Sharks is Ben Pomeroy

who'll be the first player to

face the judiciary under a

tough new policy on shoulder

charges but all the hype is

around the match-up between

minor Premiers Canterbury and

reigning champions. Des

Hasler's old side go into the

game as favourite. I think Des's focus will be getting us and the brand of football we

want to play on Friday night finely tuned rather than

worrying about Manly. The

other stuff makes a great story

but doesn't help win games.

Melbourne host Sydney in the

other qualifying final on

Saturday night. Jenson Button

is celebrating victory in the

Belgian Formula One Grand Prix,

a race mareded by a multiple

crash. Being at the front of

the grid helped him avoid the

pipe on the first term. It

ended the races of Lewis

Hamilton and championship

leader Fernando Alonso. Oh,

dear, Romain Grosjean and

Fernando Alonso and Lewis

Hamilton all coming to grief. Luckily nobody was

seriously injured. The lotus of

Grosjean narrowly missed other drivers. The view from the

cockpit shows just how close Grosjean came to making

contact. That's a scary

accident. Button went on to

win the race from Sebastian

Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen with

Australia's Mark Webber sixth. Button is now five spots back

from Alonso in the overall

standings with eight races

left. The medals keep coming

Australia's way at the

Paralympic Games. There were

more world records for the

Australians on the track while

in the swimming pool Matt

Cowdrey won his 10th gold medal, equalling the Australian

Paralympic record. Ali Khorram Heydarkhani reports. Matt

Cowdrey is recognised for his

individual feats. He was happy

his 10th Paralympic gold medal

came in a team event. Mate,

this one's really sweet. It's

special tonight, it really

is. Australia's 4x100m

freestyle mixed points

classification team was given

an explosive start by Andrew

Pastorfield. The second and

third swimmers, Matt Levy and

Blake Cochrane, kept Australia

well placed but Cowdrey had

some work to do to guarantee

gold. He powered home to beat

China and Russia. Matt Cowdrey

joins the greats. Jaqueline

Freney added to the gold tally

with her third in as many

events, taking out the women's

200m SM7 individual medley in

world-record time. This has

been a domination by fine

Freney. At the stadium, world

champion Kelly Cartwright

celebrated gold in her long

jump class. After losing a leg

to cancer, Cartwright has

competed since 2007. I just am

so happy and all the people

that helped me get here, I'm

glad I could do it for them as

well. The men's T54 5,000m

wheelchair final featured the

latest installment of a 15-year

rivalry between Australian Kurt

Fearnley and Britain's David

Weir. The Brit's going to

prevail. Put myself in a

really good space but just

didn't have it to match him

today. There was an outburst by

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius

after the double amputee was beaten into

SA can expect strong and hot

northerly winds in the east, showers and thunderstorms will

bring a cool change to the

west.

That's the news for now.

Coming up on 7:30, Leigh Sales interviews the Prime Minister

Julia Gillard. Thanks for your company. Goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI

Welcome to the program.

Tonight - education crusade.

Julia Gillard's plan to improve

Australian education standards,

but wraes the money coming

from? I'm not giving any free

passes or blank cheques to

State and Territory

Governments. They will have to

step up too. The next wave of

asbestos disease sufferers. We

renovated many homes with my

children around, and we were

doing what they're doing today,

the DIYs of today. And - the

mysterious illness threatening

Australia's wombat

population. She has put on

quite a bit of weight but her

hair hasn't started coming back

through yesterday - through yet.

Once, it was the Education

Revolution. Now it's become a