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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. of Papuan asylum seekers. Immigration officials guard a group

a holiday nightmare, Bearing the scars of the Cairo injured arrive home. monopoly on Medicare. A new push to scrap the doctors' And a plot against the PM's son masked crusaders. sinks Britain's

I'm Tamara Oudyn. Welcome to ABC News.

a boatload of asylum seekers Immigration officials are guarding border security who evaded Australia's Cape York yesterday. and landed on remote It was initially feared had drowned during their journey the 36 adults and 7 children of West Papua. from the Indonesian province Refugee advocates say independence leaders the group is made up of high-profile into the community. who should be released asylum seekers landed, A few hours after the boatload of photographed the group a local newspaper and immigration officials. being spoken to by police West Papuan flag Their boat was flying the outlawed to genocide in the province and a banner calling for an end and freedom from Indonesian rule. Mapoon on Cape York Peninsula, After landing near the community of they were taken to Weipa location nearby. and are being held in an undisclosed Refugee advocates say

into the community the group should be released are processed. while their asylum claims from seeing any lawyers, They're being locked out receive any advice, they're not allowed to speak to their company... and they're not allowed to ah, community leaders in Australia.

most of those onboard Pamela Curr says in West Papua. are well known independence leaders is a man with his family, The first name on the list for flying the West Papuan flag. whose uncle was jailed for 20 years an asylum claim, If they are going to make we'll hear the asylum claim. And I just make the point an extremely good record. that Australia has for asylum in Australia If someone has a good case offers them protection. then Australia The Greens senator Kerry Nettle says Australian diggers in World War II. the Papuans gave important help to neighbours in West Papua We have a debt to our near those in East Timor like we have the same debt treating these people and we should be and dignity that they deserve. with the compassion and respect An immigration spokesman says

arrangements are being made location sometime today. to move the group to a more secure Dea Clarke, ABC News. how the Saddam Hussein's regime Investigations into in kickbacks from the AWB received almost $300 million are continuing in Sydney.

proved damaging for the AWB The Cole inquiry's third day Andrew Lindberg's admission with managing director the company's executives in Iraq. had discussed the payment of bribes retract a statement The AWB was also forced to made to the Australian Stock Exchange given by its managing director. which contradicted testimony of questioning Mr Lindberg is facing a third day also expected to give evidence today. and former chairman Trevor Flugge is Sydney is the ABC's David Spicer. Joining me from the inquiry in

is still giving evidence? David, Andrew Lindberg

That's right, it's a marathon

hearing. He's had another very bad

day. Shares in AWB fell a further 3.

3.5% in early trading. That comes day. Shares in AWB fell a further

to 13% for the entire week. He 3.5% in early trading. That comes up

apologised for the mistake

when a statement was released to apologised for the mistake yesterday

Stock Exchange. He said it was when a statement was released to the

unauthorised. He really came under

sustained attack by council

assisting. He was asked blatantly,

"Are you a complete fool?"He

responded, "No, I'm not a complete

fool." This exchange is as a result

of the nature of the answers he's

been giving. He's now used the

expression "I can't recall" 110

times over the three days. So

there's real tension between him

council assisting and also the there's real tension between him and

Commissioner who's trying to get

some answers as to exactly what

happened. David, what aspect of the

alleged corruption was looked at

this morning? They focussed on one

aspect which concerns the partner

company of BHP called Tight gress

Petroleum. Under the United Nations

nations charter they weren't

to release money from the Iraqi nations charter they weren't allowed

account for any other reason apart

from food and humanitarian reasons.

What happened here is the AWB made

debt repaid to Tig gress to be What happened here is the AWB made a

incorporated into the price of the

wheat. What we had today was detail

about how they went about it; that

they hid it from the United States

nations and in fact they went to

elaborate measures internally to

disguise it. The Commissioner even

described it again as a "sham"

today. Mr Lindberg was cross

examined quit aggressively and was

toad, "Look, you didn't tell the UN

what was going on, was this false

and misleading conduct?"He said

eventually, "Yes, in retrospect it

was." What's scheduled for this

afternoon's session? Given the

snail's pace sit taking to get

answers out of Mr Lindberg, we

know exactly when he will finish answers out of Mr Lindberg, we don't

giving evidence, but scheduled for

this afternoon is Trevor Flugge who

was a former chairman of AWB. He

involved in the nitty-gritty of was a former chairman of AWB. He was

these negotiations. So the

Commissioner is very interested to

see what he is going to say as well.

OK. Thanks for joining us, David. ABC report

ABC reporter David Spicer at the

for Food Commission in Sydney. ABC reporter David Spicer at the oil Seven Victorians, in Egypt last week, who survived a fatal bush crash have returned home. early this morning, Met by family and senior police straight to hospital. many of the injured were taken Police Commander Ashley Dickinson thankful to be home. was amongst the injured Victorians I'm pretty good, I'll be fine.

cricket and the tennis and relaxing, A couple of days watching the it will be good. a good book relaxing, on stretchers These survivors left the airport

last week's crash. still suffering injuries from killed in the accident Yesterday the bodies of those were returned to their families. as strangers, in one sense, We were all brought together through a horrific accident and a deep sense of adversity, but the friendship we were able to share at the various locations was very supportive to all of us and in essence fed off itself to help through the recovery process. Bendigo Senior Police Constable Peter Eames lost his brother-in-law Mark Ritchie and nephew Drew. It's wonderful to be here back in Australia and it's wonderful to see the family. It's a great relief. And how are you feeling? In pain and I'm looking forward to going home and resting, taking it easy. Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon greeted the surviving passengers in private. The catching up, the emotion and the tears, it's an important part of coming home. One of them said to me, seeing the red tail on the plane was the best thing that had happened to them, they knew they were going home. One Australian survivor remains in Cairo. The others are being treated in five London hospitals. We think this is the largest medical disaster of effect of Australians overseas that hasn't been managed by the Australian Amed Forces. Many of the injured who arrived today were taken straight to hospital. The funeral of Victorian police officer Kristy Olsen will be held tomorrow. Josie Taylor, ABC News, Melbourne. The Federal Court has ordered a temporary stay on the deportation of a mentally ill detainee who has attempted suicide twice. But the Immigration Department has defended its plan to send him back to Turkey.

This man has been at Baxter

detention centre for two years and

more recently he's been treated at

lad - Adelaide's mental hospital

lad - Adelaide's mental hospital for depression. He was assessed

yesterday and the court was told

yesterday and the court was told his condition had worsened. He's

constantly suicidal. He's being

guarded 24 hours a day to prevent

him from harming himself. He may

find an opportunity to harm himself.

He may just continue to mentally

fall apart. Yesterday the man's

lawyers appeared in Federal Court

lawyers appeared in Federal Court to stop his deportation, arguing their

client was unfit to travel. The

judge agreed to an interim

injunction and grade his removal

would cause serious damage to his

mental health. The court also heard

that 140 seats were booked on a

commercial flight from Sydney to

Istanbul to act as a buffer between

the deportee and other passengers.

the deportee and other passengers. A number of police officers and a

psychiatric nurse would also have

been on guard. The Immigration

Department has defended that

arrangement saying it was for

arrangement saying it was for safety reasons. I doubt he would have come

to any physical harm during the

course of the journey, but the

potential psychological harm of

being treated like that in a

vulnerable state is quit striking.

He now waits at Baxter until the

court decides his fate, but his

lawyers want to transfer him to

Glenn side in the meantime where

they say he will receive proper medical care. A new Productivity Commission report has recommended opening up Medicare to include health workers such as nurses and physiotherapists to ease chronic staff shortages. The proposal would allow more patients to bypass their GP

and go directly to the relevant health worker for a Medicare-funded consultation. Most health workers have welcomed the report,

but the AMA says the proposal is unacceptable. I asked Robert Fitzgerald from the Productivity Commission why he thinks the Medicare rebate needs to be extended.

Australia is going to face major

increases in demands for health

services. What we have to do is

betterious the whole of the health

workforce, the whole 450,000 people

involved in it, including allied

health care workers, nurses, as

health care workers, nurses, as well as doctors and specialists

generally, and so one of the things

we've recommended is to set up a

committee that will look at the

committee that will look at the ways by which the Medicare funding can

by which the Medicare funding can be extended to a broader range of

health workers, not simply doctors.

This is a about increasing the

responsiveness of the health care

system into the future, as well as

maintaining the safety and quality

of care. But what we are very clear

about is we have to much better use

the whole of the health

the whole of the health professional workforce, not simply be

concentrating on those currently

receiving payments and benefits.

In its criticism of the report, the

AMA says patients need access to

doctors, not doctor substitutes.

What's your response to that?

This is simply - sit a simple

nonsense to believe that the

solution to our problems is only

more doctors and only doctors. Of

course we need more doctors, nurses

and allied health care workers, but

we need to use all of them much Mr

Effectively and break down the

professional and bureaucratic ridge

didties that exist. We need more

innovative models of care that can

be expanded across Australia more

quickly. We have to availablise the

registration arrangements and we

have to work out how to fund that.

At the end of the day, unless we

take a broad-based approach to the

reforms, then simply the shortages

we have, the Mall distribution of

the workforce we are experiencing

and the increasing demands we have

in the future will not be met.

Sit likelies he recommendations

Sit likelies he recommendations will be accepted by the council of

Government meeting? It is important

that the nine governments use this

particular opportunity to bring

about significant reform in the

which we operate the health care

system and the health workforce. It

is the time in Australia's history

where we need to break down the

professional bureaucratic ridge

didties and be innovative in the

didties and be innovative in the way we use our health workers and we

need to have the structures place

need to have the structures place to achieve that. This is the time in

which the nine governments can get

together, come to an agreement and

set in place the beginning of what

is quite a significant but

is quite a significant but necessary reform strategy. Robert Fitzgerald,

from the Productivity Commission in Canberra. A new report claims some of Australia's natural icons are at risk as a result of the Asia-Pacific climate pact signed last week. The report says the lack of action in the deal will see temperatures rise by 4 degrees Celsius this century. Commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature,

the report claims thousands of Australians will die as a result of heat related illnesses. It also says the Great Barrier Reef will lose much of its coral and wetlands in the Kakadu National Park will disappear.

We do expect to see under a 4 degree rise, a complete change in the Kakadu wetlands and a loss of those national icons and it's just not responsible of the Government to allow this to be the accepted path and Australians shouldn't accept that. However, the Government says the Asia-Pacific pact will address rising greenhouse gases by investing millions of dollars in ways to capture emissions. A lobby group linked to a plot to kidnap British Prime Minister Tony Blair's 5-year-old son has declared it's disbanded. A militant offshoot of the group, known as Fathers 4 Justice, has been condemned in Britain after revelations it was planning to hold Leo Blair for several hours to highlight the plight of divorced fathers. As Europe correspondent Jane Hutcheon reports.

After Tony Blair won office for a

third term last May, it was little

Leo who stole the show. The Blair

children are normally kept well out

of public view. Their home at No.

of public view. Their home at No. 10 Downing Street ringed by security.

Downing Street ringed by security. A British tabloid has claimed a plot

was hatched to kidnap Leo Blair, to

highlight the cause of divorced

fathers denied access to their children. The Prime Minister was told by his security advisers there was a plot his security advisers there was a plote ar╛ ╝ClThe Prime Minister was told by his security advisers there was a plote ar╛ that was in the very early stages, but it was a plot and it was being hatched by people who have connections with an organisation that has carried out some incredible stunts at the heart of Government where security should be tighter than tight. Until now, the group linked to the plight Fathers 4 Justice has no record of major criminality. Last September one of its members scaled the House of Commons unfurling a banner asking, "Does Blair care?" In 2004 another protest took the form of Batman at Buckingham Palace. Months later protesters disrupted Parliament by throwing bags of purple flour at the Prime Minister. The group's founder now says Fathers 4 Justice will disband. I regret to say, three years after starting the organisation we're going to cease all operations and bring the campaign to a close purely on the basis of what's happened today and also what's happened on recent month with extremist elements.

Members of Fathers 4 Justice have been warned to stay away from Westminster, the heart of the British Government. Downing Street responded with "no comment" and the police were tight-lipped, too, insisting they didn't discuss security matters. Since the July 7th bombings, security has been significantly increased around the capital. Experts warned that a stunt to kidnap the Prime Minister's son could have tragic results. And here we have the idea that someone is going to snatch a child from a family that's protected by armed policemen. Somebody could quite easily have got shot. Three years after its founding, Fathers 4 Justice failed to change child access laws. Campaigners vowed that the battle will continue even if the eye-catching stunts do not. Jane Hutcheon, ABC news, London.

In Washington, a corruption scandal

has forced Republicans to propose sweeping reforms to the lobbying system.

Most gifts to members of congress would be banned, as would privately-sponsored travel. The measures have been prompted by the trial of a powerful lobbyist. Ever wondered where the term 'lobbyist' comes from? It was borne here in the majestic Willard Hotel, a short walk from the White House. In the 1870s President Grant came to this lobby to drink and was accosted by men exercising their constitutional right to petition him by whoever paid them. But Presidents don't drink here anymore and lobbying has moved out of the lobby to a new address. This is Kay Street, home of an industry that has mushroomed like no other in this city. Today Washington boast a staggering 27,500 registered lobbyists -

five times more than there are journalists. It's been called the fourth branch of government and justifiably so. You have people on Kay Street, tens of thousands of them, that are able to influence public policy. I think most Americans really haven't had a glimpse of how this part of our democracy works.

But Americans are waking up to this secret world and this morning Washington saw

what was probably the first ever demonstration against lobbyists and their power. It's all thanks to the superlobbyist and the ill-advised black trilby - Jack Abramoff - here after pleading guilty to fleecing his clients for millions of dollars. And here on the job, hosting a jolly to a Pacific island, hugging guests like Republican congressman Tom DeLay, the one in the happy hat, this time to buy votes against sweatshop legislation. Thanks to Abramoff's plea bargain, Washington is bracing itself for the biggest scandal in a decade

according to one lobbyist, who, like so many others, used to be a congressman. You can make a decent living in lobbying without doing those kind of things

but you can't make the kind of money he made. REPORTER: He was too greedy? Oh absolutely. Greed killed him, greed killed his partner, Michael Scanlan and greed is going to kill a few more people before this is over. On Capitol Hill? Yeah. The rather drab Kay Street - no, you probably haven't heard of it, but you will do in the next 12 months because teams of prosecutors are trying to find out how, for whom and for what some of the millions made here were spent about 2 miles down the road at a far more familiar address. On Capitol Hill, they're waiting nervously for names. You're watching ABC News. Making news this hour -

The managing director of AWB admits to false and misleading conduct over a deal involving a BHP subsidiary and the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Andrew Lindberg is giving a third day of evidence

before the Cole inquiry in Sydney. Now for the latest business news, we cross to Emma Jolliff at the ABC's Finance Centre.

Good afternoon, Emma. Hello, Tamara. A summer snapshot of the housing market reveals a slower year is expected for the residential building sector in 2006. The Housing Industry Association says that housing conditions are generally considered to be softer than 12 months ago,

and that the level of building this year would be down. But the housing industry says with the exception of Sydney, which is still very weak, there is no feeling that a substantial pullback is in the offing over the next 12 months. In Australia, the share market is making a recovery today after slumping yesterday on the market's busiest day on record. In companies news, Woodside Petroleum has revealed plans to ship liquefied natural gas to California, amid growing demand from the US. And Sydney Airport, Macquarie Airport's biggest asset said second-quarter earnings rose nearly 7% as more routes offered by airlines attracted more passengers. In a statement to the Stock Exchange, Roc Oil says it plans to sell more than $75 million worth of shares to institutional investors in London to help fund exploration in Angola. Miner BHP Billiton is expected to get as much as $400 million from the sale of its Southern Cross fertiliser business.

Shares in wheat exporter AWB continue to slide despite a statement from Standard & Poors that their credit rating would not be immediately affected by the oil-for food inquiry. Patrick Corporation is gaining ground

after yesterday's ACCC ruling on the takeover bid by Toll Holdings. To regional markets in Asia: Stocks fell in the US after some disappointing earnings among technology stocks. In London, the FT100 mirrored weakness on other markets

because of oil concerns and the corporate scandal in Japan. In commodities: That's all in finance. Back to you, Tamara.

Thank you, Emma. To tennis, and fourth seed David Nalbandian had to fight hard last night to win his second round match at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Playing his first Open, Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka took a set off the Argentinean, delighting the crowd with his wonderful array of shot-making. Earlier in the night Maria Sharapova progressed to the third round with a straight sets win over unseeded American, Ashley Harkleroad. He's certainly not a household name,

but if last night's match is anything to go by,

Stanislas Wawrinka won't be unknown for long. He had it all in his bag of tricks, including a devastating one-handed backhand. CHEERING David Nalbandian took out the first set.

COMMENTATOR: Oh, my goodness. But the 20-year-old from Switzerland broke the Argentinean's serve in the fourth game of the second and he continued to play his shots without fear. That is money. And he was rewarded with the second set. The crowd was treated to some of the most entertaining tennis of the tournament so far. CHEERING Serving to stay in the third set, Wawrinka got a bad fall and Nalbandian broke his serve to take a 2-1 lead. The winners continued to flow off both racquets in the fourth. Oh, sweetness. But the Argentinean had just a little more poise

on the crucial points, winning in four. CHEERING

Maria Sharapova had everything her own way in the opening set against American Ashley Harkleroad, but the second was a lot tighter. 5-4 up, Harkleroad had three set points to level the match, but Sharapova's massive serve got her out of trouble. The American dropped her serve with a double fault and the fourth-seeded Russian pounced, taking the set 7-5. If the results go according to plan, Sharapova will meet Serena Williams in the round of 16. Angela Pippos, ABC New, Melbourne. Russia has reduced gas supplies to Europe and slashed its oil output because of extreme cold. Arctic temperatures are testing the country's ageing electricity and central heating systems. Moscow is shivering in temperatures of minus 30 and forecasters predict this January will go down as the coldest in decades. Russians say their weather forecasters are only right when they're predicting bad news. Their forecasts have been spot-on and even for this country's notorious winters, the conditions have been severe. "It's now about minus 40", this woman says. The weather is extraordinary. It's also dangerous. Dozens of homeless people have died of exposure. Cars have refused to start and the electricity and central heating systems are struggling. The head of Russia's electricity network has warned that such temperatures could lead to power failures. As Moscow freezes, school children have been kept home and at the Kremlin, the hour-long shifts of the honour guard have been halved. The deep freeze has arrived with the orthodox Christian feast of epiphany.

For the devout, it means braving the Moscow River, even at these temperatures.

TRANSLATION: This is an internal feeling of good spirit, delight, happiness, cheerfulness. Others swear that a quick dip in these very sub-zero waters or a roll in the snow does wonders for the health. TRANSLATION: I had two heart attacks and I started being more careful with my health. So I started swimming in cooled water. In this sort of weather, just going outside is an extreme sport. After a few minutes, it starts to hurt to breathe and my lips are going numb as I speak. When these glacial conditions ease, the city's winter average of minus 10 will seem balmy. Emma Griffiths, ABC News, Moscow. Now let's check what the weather is doing today around Australia. The satellite photo shows thick cloud in the skies over southern Queensland and north-east NSW in a broad trough. Thick cloud is also coving the tropics in an active monsoon, generating storms with heavy rain. Skies are mostly clear over the south under a strengthening ridge. A monsoon low may form into a cyclone over the north-west tropics, causing very heavy rain and gales. A high will send showers on to the east coast. Low pressure troughs will trigger showers and storms across eastern states in very warm north-easterly winds. To the capital city forecasts - Showers tending to rain in Brisbane. Wet and 22 degrees in Sydney. Some isolated falls are expected in Canberra. It's heating up in Melbourne. Fine and 35. Mild and clear in Hobart. Hot and humid in Adelaide, which will reach 37 degrees. It'll be a sunny day in Perth. And Darwin can expect the usual forecast this afternoon - monsoonal showers and storms. And before we go a final look at the stories making headlines today. Immigration officials are guarding a boatload of asylum seekers from the troubled Indonesian province of Papua. Injured survivors of the Cairo bus crash have returned home to complete their recovery. Six others remain in hospital in London and Egypt. And the Productivity Commission recommends scrapping the doctors' monopoly on Medicare in favour of other health care workers. And that's the latest from ABC News. I'm Tamara Oudyn. From the newsroom for the moment, good afternoon.

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