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Asia-Pacific leaders head

to Russia's far east for a key

regional forum. After the

warrup, Democrats get set for

the main attraction in

Charlotte. He has never

waivered. He never, never

backs down, he always steps up.

Now you see them, now you

don't. A new push to save

endangered wildlife. It's a

little concerning and a little

embarrassing. Seventh heaven,

as Jacqueline Freney swims into

unchartered waters at the

Paras. Her seventh gold medal

of the Paralympic Games!

Hello, and welcome to ABC News

across Australia, I'm Ros

Childs. New action to tackle

Europe's debt crisis is giving

markets around the world a

lift.

More finance later in the

bulletin. First to South

Australia, where wild wrert has

caused a bizarre chain of caused a bizarre chain of

events in the Adelaide Hills

injuries while two police leaving one man with critical

officers had a lucky escape. The man had been helping State

emergency crews remove a large

tree which had fallen at

Ironbank when he was struck by

a second falling tree. The

primary school teacher was

pinned to the ground and was

eventually taken to hospital

where he remains in a critical

condition. Later two police patrols were leaving the area

when they came across when they came across a driver

who'd spun out of control.

They got out of their car to

help when two trucks came

hurtling towards them forcing

them to jump out of the way.

One of the trucks had lost

control collecting the other

before crashing into one of the

parked police cars. A truck

driver has suffered minor

injuries. Leaders from around

the Asia-Pacific region are

arriving in Russia for this

year's APEC meeting. The Prime year's APEC meeting. The Prime

Minister Julia Gillard flew out

of Canberra this morning and

will arrive in Vladivostok

tonight for the 2-day leaders'

meeting. Ms Gillard is

expected to discuss asylum

seeker issues in a meeting with

her Malaysia counterpart.

Promoting trade will be high on

the summit's agenda. There'll

be a focus on closer ties

Asia and the Pacific. The between universities across

meeting is held at a time of

high tension in the region with increasing pressure increasing pressure over

territorial disputes in the

South China Sea. And for the

host nation Russia, this summit

is being used in another way

altogether as a means of

boosting its massive East

Coast. An area long seen as

many Russians as a rusty

backwater. Stephen Milne

reports from Vladivostok.

Vladivostok is the great hope

for Russia's vast east. A

Pacific port city many believe

has been underutilised for a

long time. Russia 's eastern

regions are a long way from the

country's European heartland.

Geographically, and also

psychologically. In recent

years, the local population has

been draining out and heading

west in search of prosperity,

but Moscow wants to turn this

around. The APEC leaders'

meeting to be held over the

weekend has brought major infrastructure spending to

Vladivostok, with two huge new

bridges, an airport terminal

and an entire university being

constructed. The president is

pushing his country towards

Asia and using Vladivostok to

do it. According to Vladimir

Putin, the Asia-Pacific is

currently the only answer for

the world economy. When Prime

Minister Julia Gillard and

other world leaders arrive here

tonight, they'll be mindful of

simmering tensions between delegate countries, with rival

claims to parts of the South

China Sea. But encouraging

freer trade will also be high

on their agenda as a means of

boosting the global economy.

Many countries are looking for

an end to the economic doldrums

and Russia's no different. But

policymakers here see huge

potential in this city. If it

can tap into Asia, and the

growth it could bring. And as

home to Russia's Pacific fleet

it's not only economic power

being projected out of here.

Back home, and doctors have

slammed a Queensland Government

decision to axe thousands of

health jobs, saying it'll have

a direct impact on the delivery

of services. The State Health

Minister today announced nearly

3,000 jobs will go from his

department as part of

widespread public sector

cutbacks. 1500 jobs will be

slashed from health and

hospital services and another 1200 will be lost at the

department's corporate office.

The $150 million black hole

that's been blown in our budget

as a consequence of Labor's

failed payroll system equates

to 1500 jobs. The system for

public health and preventative

health has been very effective.

That is one example of an

excellent system that is being

dismantled for no obvious gain.

Thousands more public sector

job cuts are expected to be

announced in next week's

Budget, including around 2,000

from Transport and Main Roads.

It's show-time for Barack

Obama. The President of the

United States is due to address

North Carolina making his the Democratic convention in

prime-time bid for re-election.

His speech comes a day after

Bill Clinton fired up the

Democrat faithful. Let's go to North America correspondent

Craig McMurtrie. Barack Obama

has a hard act to follow? He

does. After Bill Clinton's

vintage performance last night,

Democrats have packed into the

convention hall in Charlotte.

They wanted to have this day

outside in a stadium, a crowd

of maybe 70 or 80,000. Instead

they've crammed something like

20,000 into the hall because of

bad weather. Others haven't

been able to get in. They've

locked down that hall. It

can't take anymore people.

Democrats came ready to party.

They've been entertained by the

Foo Fighters, James Taylor.

There's been Hollywood star

power. Scarlett Johansen's

been there. Perhaps the most

emotional moment, Congresswoman

Gabrielle Giffords appeared.

There were tears down the face

of the delegates. She read the

pledge of allegiance. High emotion at the time. That mood

has continued through the

events. Now vice-president Joe

Biden is speaking, trying to wow the crowd before Barack

Obama comes out. He's making

the case the journey isn't over

there. He's telling the

delegates there that America

has turned the corner. He's

making the case for the

character of Barack Obama,

arguing that he has the

character and is best qualified

to be the president, the commander-in-chief. Let's have

a listen to some of what Joe

Biden has had to say. Day

after day, night after night, I

sat beside him as he made one

gutsy decision after the other

to stop the slide and reverse

it. I watched him. I watched

him stand up to intense

pressure and stare down

enormous challenges. So

Craig, how's the Romney

campaign reacting? Well, Mitt

Romney hasn't really been seen

in recent days. He's made very

few public appearances. He

popped up briefly today and

spoke to reporters, told them

he hasn't really been watching

the Democrat convention these

few days, isn't planning to

watch Barack Obama's speech and

said he would like Barack Obama

to explain to the American

people why he hasn't kept his people why he hasn't kept his promises. Certainly

Republicans thought that Bill

Clinton's speech last night was

powerful, but certainly you can

expect a new barrage of attack

ads from both sides as soon as

this convention is over.

There's already been a new

effort from the Republican

Party really going to the voter

gender gap again, targeting

young women, encouraging them

to " break up with Barack

Obama". Have a look. You're

always out with Hollywood

celebrities. We've seen you

with Sarah Jessic a Parker.

It's not me, it's you. I think

we should just be friends.

Tell us why you're breaking up

with President Obama. Barack

Obama's big problem is the

economy, isn't it? How's he

likely to handle that in the

speech? Aides are saying it's

going to be a positive speech.

He's going to argue it is a

generational choice that

American voters are facing this

time. He's also going to

address the main criticism he's

been receiving not just from

Republicans, but also by

political writers that he really hasn't laid out his plan

for the next four years

explaining to the American

people why he deserves another

term. To aides are saying he

will present some of that roadmap today. Essentially

also offering some specific

promises, maybe a million new manufacturing jobs over the

next four years, but at the

core, the argument the

president is making is that the

problems that he's dealing with

now that Americans are facing

were decades in the making and

simply couldn't be fixed in a

single term. Craig, thank

you. One of Bill Clinton's

messages during his speech to the Democratic convention yesterday was that politics

today is about constant

conflict and that conflict gets

in the way of getting things

done. Let's hear what he said.

Maybe just 'cause I grew up

in a different time, but though

I often disagree with

Republicans, I actually never

learned to hate them the way

the far right seems to hate our

president and a lot of other Democrats. When times are

tough and people are frustrated

and angry and hurting and

uncertain, the politics of

constant conflict may be good,

but what is good politics does

not necessarily work in the

real world. What works in the

real world is cooperation. Why

does cooperation work better

than constant conflict? Because

nobody's right all the time and

a broken clock is right twice a day. Well, the former

president was talking about the situation in the United States, but is this also true for

Australia? Here with his

thoughts is John Hewson who was

Federal leader of the Liberal

Party of Australia from 1990 to

1994. John Hewson does what Bill Clinton said yesterday

ring any bells with you about what's happening here in

Australia? I think,

absolutely. Politics today is all about conflict and all about conflict and that

conflict is costing in terms of

solving problems and improving

our society and I think he's

dead right and the idea that

we've got hate politics is

actually particularly true.

When I think back to my time

with Keating a lot of people

would think that I would hate

him. I actually highly

respected the man and I believe

he respected me. We could have

an argument about policy and

it's a meaningful argument.

Today it's a point-scoring

exercise in a 24-hour media

cycle and it's driven by an

obsession which is almost hate

in many cases. Why has it

become so aggressive?

Standards have dropped in terms

of parliamentary behaviour. I

think standards have dropped in

terms of the way issues are

addressed. People are not that concerned about

concerned about the issue.

They don't think medium to

longer term. Everything's been

a 24-hour cycle and you're

never going to get sensible

medium term policy in that

cycle. Does that mean the

electorate, voters have become

distanced from their

politicians? The electorates

have moved away. As I look at

the US and the Australian

scene, the distinguishing

feature of the polls is that

the four leaders are

universally disliked and now

people are forced to make a

choice of the least worst of

those candidates. We saw that

in the last election. Neither

Gillard or Abbott were liked.

They didn't like the fact they

didn't have policy, the

argy-bargy between them and we

ended up with a hung

Parliament. I wonder how the

congressional numbers will run

in the US given that the

campaigns are driven by the two

leaders irrespective of the

congressional contest. Bill

Clinton now makes the point that good politics doesn't work

in the real world, so how can opposing political parties

cooperate, but still keep their

supporters happy? He's right.

Politics today is costing good

policy. It's costing sensible

solutions to problems that

matter to the average person.

We have very few examples. We

quite often hear people talk

about bipartisanship, argue for

bipartisanship, in very rare

occasions do we have it.

There's bipartisan support for

the continued involvement in

Afghanistan, even though the

electorate on that issue has

moved away and is overwhelming

against continuing in that, as

it is now in the United States.

They just want the forces

pulled back. So I don't think

in this combative, aggressive, in this combative, aggressive, hate-driven politics you're

going to get sensible policy.

He's dead right. Dr John

Hewson, thank you. Thank you.

Construction company Grocon

has vowed to pursue the CFMEU

for money lost during a fiery

two and a half week long

dispute which shut down a

Melbourne work site. After

negotiation with the industrial

umpire overnight the union has

agreed to end the blockade and

resume talks with Grocon.

Grocon said it lost $500,000 a

day during the protest. The

Victorian Government said a

riot-style operation at the site cost taxpayers millions.

Both have vowed to continue

action at the CFMEU in the

Victorian Supreme Court. At the end of the day, there's

been a significant injustice

performed on our company and we

have to try to get that money

back. We're compelled to.

We say it's not a great victory

for either party at the moment.

It's about going forward trying

to resolve this dispute. The

union says it's hopeful of

resuming talks by next Tuesday,

but it has refused to rule out

further protests. Energy Resources of Australia says it

may seek permission to mine

rock and uranium from an

exploration tunnel bordering Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. The company was given approval last

year to dig a 2 kilometre underground exploration tunnel.

Environmental groups are

worried that ERA is about to

start mining tonnes of rock and

uranium ore from the tunnel

without going through the

proper environmental channels.

But the company says that's not

the case. We work closely

with our regulators and key

stakeholders and certainly

because it is such a large

project we want to talk about

the things that we could do and

once we arrive at a decision on

what we will do, we'll go

through the approval channels

then. The Ranger Mine and the

Bauxite Mine at Gove in east

Arnhem Land are owned by Rio

Tinto and both have been forced

to shed jobs in recent months.

The mines say tough market

conditions and high labour

costs are behind the reduction.

As we've heard, the local stock

market is on the rise today.

Wall Street and Europe rallied

overnight. Investors around

the world have welcomed what

could be a turning point in the

European debt crisis. The

European Central Bank has

unveiled a plan to prop up the

region's weakest countries.

Troubled economies like Spain

got thrown a lifeline today.

The European Central Bank said

it stood ready to buy unlimited

amounts of bonds to help bring

down borrowing costs for

countries like Spain and Italy.

The markets bounced on news of

an ambitious plan designed to

ease the Eurozone crisis. Six

weeks ago, the President of the

ECB promised to do whatever it

takes to preserve the euro.

Today he explained how. We

will have a fully effective

backstop to avoid destructive

scenarios with potentially

severe challenges for price

stability in the euro area.

So how would the Draghi plan

work? The ECB would buy

unlimited Government bonds from

a Eurozone country asking for

help. That should drive down

the country's borrowing costs,

but there would be strings

attached. Nations would first

have to request help from the

Eurozone's bailout fund and

accept strict conditions such

as austerity measures. On the

streets of Madrid today,

protests against the visit by

the German chancellor Angela

Merkel. They blame her for

austerity. When she met with

the Spanish Prime Minister, he

would not be drawn on whether

he would be asking for a

bailout. Angela Merkel spoke

of the need to restore of the need to restore confidence in the euro as a

whole. All eyes will now be on

Spain. Will it ask for help,

and will it accept possibly

tough new conditions? Let's go

to some of the other stories

making news in business.

Australia's building industry

shrank in August at the fastest

pace in 11 months. According

to the Housing Industry

Association, new orders fell particularly for engineering

construction and also for the

building of flats. While

galeforce winds were keeping

Emergency Services busy across

South Australia this week, they

also fired up turbines on the

State's wind farms. When the

gales were howling more than half the State's power came

from wind farms. For a few brief moments on Wednesday

morning, the wind was generating so much power some

of it was being exported to

Victoria. Let's take a check

now of the markets with finance reporter Michael Janda. We've

heard about the European

Central Bank's bond buying

announcement - how's that

affecting the local market?

Clearly the hope is that the

ECB may not even have to buy

Spanish and Italian bonds. The

announcement alone slashed

interest rates on some Spanish

and Italian debt overnight and

that's because investors who

were profiting by selling off

the debt now potentially face a

formidable foe in the form of

the ECB with essentially unlimited financial resources.

But the move wasn't greeted as

enthusiastically here as it was

in Europe. The All Ords index

only up around 0.#5e at 4,354

and the ASX200 is 21 points

higher compared to gains of up to 5%

to 5% in Europe. Michael,

banks are one sector you'd

expect to gain strongly from

global financial stability,

have they? Banks overseas had

gains of 3, 5, even 10% in

Europe, but Australia's banks

haven't followed possibly

because those banks overseas

now look a lot more attractive.

In fact, Westpac's actually

fallen more than 0.5% to $23.74

while the best performer of the

big four is ANZ up less than big four is ANZ up less than

0.5%. But the miners are

having a good day? Yes, after

a horror run that saw its share

price plunge 60 cents this

week, Fortescue metals up 10

cents and Rio Tinto's also

having a good day, up more than

3% on hopes iron ore prices

will start rebounding . And

scolted media has a firm

takeover bid from News

Corporation? James Packer's a step closer to selling out of

the media altogether after agreeing

agreeing to a binding proposal

from News Corp offering $3.45

cash a share plus a 6 cent

dividend to take control of the

company, but the deal also

needs support from

Consolidated's smaller

shareholders including Kerry

Stokes and consolidated media

down 1 cent to $3.43. Taking a

look at the look at the other big movers in

the ASX top 100:

Onto Wall Street, and

stock indexes jumped to their

highest levels in more than 4

years. Banks were among the

biggest performers.

Three-quarters of stocks on the

New York exchange and Nasdaq

lifted.

It's 76 years ago today

that the last known Tasmanian

tiger died in Hobart zoo. So,

it's a significant day on which

to hold National Threatened Species

Species Day and zoos and

wildlife parks have been

getting together to highlight

the threat facing many Australian animals. Ben

Buchanan is the education manager at WILD LIFE Sydney .

He brought some of his charges

down to Sydney's CBD. Yes, so

I've been joined here by Terry

our resident black cockatoo at

WILD LIFE Sydney and Boo one of

our iconic charismatic koalas.

Koalas have been listed

threatened nationally and the

red-tailed black cockatoo there

is a population in strive down in Victoria. Australia has

the highest rate of mammal

extinction in the world. How

many mammals are disappearing

and at what rate? It is quite

an alarming rate. On a global

scale, and across all groups of

animals. Obviously the cute

and cuddly and the furry

mammals we pay attention to.

It's concerning and

embarrassing, but we are

definitely taking steps in the

right direction to start trying

to at least slow that rate down. What are the steps

you've been taking in order to

try and slow down that rate of

extinction? Yeah, OK so what

today is all about National

Threatened Species Day is

raising waerns, getting people

involved, meeting native

wildlife, getting upclose to

feathery, scaly, and that way

they're going to be inspired to

take conservation action and

help support initiatives that

are protecting native wildlife.

Apart from breeding programs,

how are zoos and wildlife parks

trying to stop animals disappearing? Obviously

captive breeding is a big one

that most people think of, but

conservation education is a major thing. major thing. We can have

millions of people through our

doors and we have a great

opportunity to have a captive

audience to reach people and to

raise awareness for these

animals and that's why we have

zoos these days as ambassadors

for their wild cousins. Is it

easier to protect animals and ensure their survival if

they're kept in captivity

rather than trying to conserve

them in their natural habitat?

It's a 2-way street. We've

got to focus on protecting the

natural habitat that they do have, because without that there is no point in having

zoos. So it's a combination of

the two. Zoos raise awareness,

can help generate the offspring

we can rerelease, but we've got

to be protecting our native

habitats to release these

animals back into and also to

ensure their populations are

surviving well into the future.

Ben Buchanan and your two

friends, mostly well-behaved.

Thank you very much. Today

also marks the day when

Queenslanders can take aim at

one species in peril. Farmers

will be allowed to shoot flying

foxes if other methods fail to

protect their crops. An annual

quota of 10,500 had been set. The State's Environment

Minister says the timing is

unfortunate. This is about

achieving a balance between the

conservation of flying foxes

and economic production on

farms and public health and

safety in local communities.

In the State's far north flying

foxes have been flamed at a

Hendra outbreak. The owner

said the horse started shaking

before collapsing. Monday

afternoon... and died a few

afternoon... and died a few

hours later. We got the word

back that it was Hendra. The

property is under quarantine

and biosecurity officers are

testing 13 other horses and two

dogs. Now back to the

Democratic Convention in North

Carolina. Barack Obama has

just taken the stage. Let's go

there now. Thank you.

(Crowd chants) CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

Thank you. Michelle, I

love you so much. A few nights

ago, everybody was reminded

just what a lucky man I am.

Malia and Sasha, we are so

proud of you. And yes, you do

have to go to school in the

morning. And Joe Biden, thank

you for being the very best vice-president I could have

ever hoped for and being a

strong and loyal friend.

strong and loyal friend. Madam

chair woman, delegates, I

accept your nomination for

president of the United States.

Barack Obama there,

addressing the Democratic

convention in North Carolina,

making his bid for re-election. Australian swimmer Jacqueline

Freney has made history again

on day eight of the Paralympics. The 20-year-old

won her seventh gold medal from

as many events in London. It's

the most golds won by an

Australian at a single

Paralympics. Duncan Huntsdale reports. Jacqueline Freney

must go to bed at night with

one tune ringing in her ears.

(Australian anthem plays) It

was a frightening prospect for

Freney's opposition as the NSW

swimmer took on her pet event,

the 400 freestyle. The final

margin - half a pool.

COMMENTATOR: And a total

domination. She gets her seventh gold medal at these

Paralympic Games. I just

wanted to go out there tonight

and see what I could do, probably get as close to the

world record as I could. So I

broke that and I'm really happy

about it. Exhausted after

becoming Australia's greatest

Paralympian the previous night,

Matt Cowdrey found enough

energy to win the 200

individual medley for the third

successive Games. What an

achievement. That one's a

pretty special one. It's not

often Australia beats the US in

basketball, let alone twice in

one day. The Gliders held out

the fast-finishing Americans to

win by one point and will play

Germany in the gold medal game.

You little beauty. The

Rollers beat the US by 9 and

take on Canada in the final.

The Steelers sent the Swedes

sideways. Australia won 60-47.

The home crowd was in a frenzy

as David Weir won his third

gold of the Games and in the

next race 19-year-old Johnny

Peacock took out the battle of

the bladerunners in the 1,500m.

The victory comes 14 years

after he lost his leg and

nearly died, contracting

meningitis. Great Britain has

moved up to second behind China

on the medal tally. Australia

is in fifth position with 25

golds, which is two more than

its haul in Beijing. To the

weather now. The satellite

photo shows a cloud band

crossing NSW with a cold front

bringing only a few showers in

the south. There's speckled

cloud over Victoria, Tasmania

and eastern South Australia in

the wake of the front

generating showers and highland

snow. Cloud forming over

Queensland with a weak trough,

but it's not causing any rain.

Cold, brisk south-westerly

winds in the wake of a front

will direct showers and alpine

snow tomorrow into Victoria,

Tasmania and southern NSW. A

low pressure trough will

trigger some showers in South

East Queensland. A high will

build in the west. Clearing

skies in South Australia and

Western Australia.

That's the news for now. There's continuous news on ABC

News 24 and news on-line. Our

next full bulletin on ABC1 is

at 7 o'clock this evening. I'm

Ros Childs. Have a good

afternoon and a great weekend.

See you Monday.

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on track four in five minutes. (Bells and whistles clang) Wait! I want to make a call. Hurry up! We got a train to catch. PA: Attention, please. All personnel from Company B 115th Infantry Battalion assemble on platform four.

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