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CC Tonight

CC Tonight firebreak. Blue

Mountains no longer feeling

the heat. As Iraq's death

toll grows Britain talks

about leaving. Dealing

direct. Vouchers to replace some welfare payments. And

Australia's skipper rises for

the Ashes. Good evening. Welcome. I'm Virginia

Haussegger with ABC News. In

Blue Mountains they have Haussegger with ABC News. In

spent the day fighting fire

with fire. 24 hours after

raging blazes threatened townships firefighters have

to a cool change in the gained the upper hand thanks

weather. Now they are burning firebreaks around the blaze.

It is still not under control

but at least it is no longer

a threat to people or

property. An anxious tonight bracing

bracing for southerly winds

that could drive the fire

into the tiny township as

well as neighbouring

communities. What we are

doing tonight is keeping the

fire on this side of the road

and taking the back burn down

to the mount. An unexpected

and welcome lull in the wind

saw work throughout the night

on burning a firebreak along

19 kilometres of road and ridges. The aim is to

ridges. The aim is to build a so-called containment line

that stretches 100 kilometres

around the Gross Valley

blaze. The job is likely to

take another week. Try to

rush home at night and put my

boy to bed. Volunteer Karen

has left her three children

at home to do her bit to make

sure that the tyre does not

get out of hand. Kids can

ring any time to find out how

I'm doing. With

I'm doing. With cooler

temperatures and lighter

winds firefighters are hoping

this time their backburning

does not break containment

lines T Rural Fire Service

has already been criticised

for the extent of backburning

around Black Heath and cap

mount Victoria. The energy

that has gone into

backburning I feel could have gone into fighting the

original fires with more

power and knocking them out. Not to do

Not to do it would be to

almost concede we are going

to have major fire in the very towns we are trying to

protect.╝white Today

residents in those towns that

have been than high alert

relaxed. Kate and her son

only moved to the area a

month ago. I'm relieved

after yesterday that we seem

to be safe here now. For now

this bed and breakfast is

also safe. We slept easily

also safe. We slept easily

last night partly because there is not so much smoke

around. But there will not be

much sleep for some 1000 firefighters who continue to

work on putting out 44

bushfires across the State.

Traffic is flowing on the

Federal Highway after a

bushfire near Lake George

forced it to close late

early yesterday. The fire started

early in the afternoon and

spread quickly in the rugged

bushland next to the highway.

The blaze is now contained

and has burnt out 310

hectares. There was to damage

to property. The highway was

still partially closed this

morning but all lanes were

reopened this afternoon. The

Federal Treasurer has moved

to ease concerns about a

possible $10 billion takeover

of Qantas. With Coalition MPs

of Qantas. With Coalition MPs

publicly disagree binge the

need to protect the airline

Peter Costello says the Government will not lift its

cap on foreign ownership and

he does not want Qantas

broken up. In Melbourne

Qantas discount airline

Jetstar was unveiling its

first long haul flight but

officials were tightlipped on

a potential deal with

Macquarie Bank and US equity

partner Texas Pacific.

partner Texas Pacific. We

can't make any comment apart

from the ASX comment

yesterday. If Treasurer moved

to calm concerns. The Flying

Kangaroo says Australia and

as far as I'm concerned that means majority Australian

ownership. While he does not

rule out a take over the

Government has no plans to lift the cap and the

Treasurer says he can't see a

case to split the airline up I can't see any reason it

I can't see any reason it

should be broken up. He says

any foreign investor wanting

a controlling interest would

need the approval of the

Foreign Investment Review

Board. We would decide that

on the basis of the national

interest. The opposition

leader wants the Prime

Minister to guarantee jobs at

the airline. My challenge to

John Howard is to come

through this process and

guarantee jobs will not be lost. Back-benchers are

divide over what

divide over what a take over

might mean. Staff

reductions, asset stripping.

I think it is over

protected, it is 1980s

thinking and I can understand

the pick's returns. Another

talking point when Parliament

returns will be nuclear energy. While the Prime

Minister says the economics

are obvious and compelling

Peter Costello says nuclear

energy does not stack up at

the melt and as for carbon

the melt and as for carbon

trading... I don't think the

arguments for and against

carbon trading should be

decided on the basis of

trying to make nuclear power

competitive or not

competitive. He says the nuclear debate has to be open

and honest. AWB was told that Australia was going to

war in Iraq more than a year

it. before the public heard about

it. According to documents

released by the inquiry. The

information was in a briefing

to the company's board by the

chairman in 2002. He said the

advice had come from John

Douth who was then the

Australian ambassador to the

UN. The Prime Minister did

not announce the decision to

send troops until 13 months

later. John Howard was

biernd to his prepared to take the wheat

biernd to his confidence a

week before going to war but

not the Australian people. The department of foreign affairs said today

the xants were the personal

views of the ambassador. The

final report for the oil for

handed the Government food inquiry is due to be

tomorrow. One civilian dies

every 12 minutes in Iraq.

That is the horrifying

picture painted by a UF

report. In October aon laon

more than 3.5 thousand people

more than 3.5 thousand people were kill t highest monthly

toll since the invasion. Even

so, Britain believes the

situation is sufficiently

under control for it to

withdraw its troops by the

middle of next year. The

latest victims were

policemen, gunned down at a

checkpoint. UN estimates 120

Iraqi civilians were killed

each day in October, the

worst rate since the war

worst rate since the war

began. Behind the statistics

are stories of utter horror.

This is the funeral of a

12-year-old girl who had been

tortured and executed. I

think we have seen a great

increase in sectarian

violence and activities by

not only insurgents and terrorists but also militia

and armed groups and criminal

gangs. The US is still

resisting demands to

establish a timetable for

withdrawal of its forces but Britain talk about

Britain talk about a schedule that could affect the

presence of its 7000 troops.

It hopes to transfer control

of several provinces to the

Iraqis by early next year.

Although Mr Speaker there can be no question of us

abandoning Iraq in these

circumstances that does not

of course mean things are

standing still. Australian

troops are also deployed in

southern Iraq but the Defence

Minister will not say when

they will withdraw. We are continuing to

continuing to train Iraqi

security forces. It is likely

over the next year that we

Lyn crease those activities.

It about helping people to

crawl, walk and ultimately to

run. George W. Bush is

considering his options in

Iraq. Although today he was

busy saving a Turkey from

thanksgiving dinner. As the

President gave the bird an

official pardon he talk about

official pardon he talk about

the sacrifices being made by

US troops. Their courage

keeps us free, their

sacrifice makes us grateful,

their character makes us proud. Baghdad is considered too dangerous but there will

be serious discussion about the sectarian bloodshed and

whether the Iraqi security

force rest able and willing

to contain it. Lebanon has

called on the UN to

called on the UN to help

investigate the latest

political assassination. The

country has been plunged back

into crisis after the murder

of the anti-Syrian industry

minister Pierre Gemayel would

was gunned down in Beirut.

The killing has heightened

problems in Lebanon where the

majority of people want to

be free of Syrian influence.

Matt Brown is in the Lebanese capital.

capital. It has been an

all-too familiar scene in

Lebanon. Another mysterious

murder, another display of

public grief. The body of

Pierre Gemayel was taken back

to his hometown after he was

gunned down by assassins in

Beirut. It is the sixth tile

an anti-Syrian public figure

has been killed in less than

two years. Followers and

friends alike travelled to

the family home. They gathered over Pierre

gathered over Pierre

Gemayel's casket to consider

the meaning of his death.

Most in this predominantly Christian suburb believe that

Syria is to blame. This

murder means that Syria does

not want a sovereign Lebanon

a fee Lebanon. Anti-Syrian

leader says he expects more

killing but he says the violence will eventually

bring down the regime in

bring down the regime in

Damascus. Syria is already in

the sites of an international

investigation into a string

of murders targetting

anti-Syrian activists. Now

Lebanon's Prime Minister has

asked the United Nations

Security Council to add

Pierre Gemayel's

assassination to the list.

Syria has denied any

involvement but this latest

death has heightened fears

that Lebanon may descend into refud violence

refud violence pitting anti

Syrian majority against

Syria's powerful allies like Hezbollah. Despite the

outrage of this assassination

most Lebanese do not want to

return to the days of

bloodshed and civil war. Their heeders have been doing

their best to keep a lid on

rising tensions. Outside the Pierre Gemayel family home the emotion was clear the

see. I feel very angry, I

see. I feel very angry, I

cried yesterday but today I

really feel very

angry. Security has been

biechd in the capital. So far

it has been quiet. A funeral

and mass protest are due to

be held in central Beirut

later today. Matt Brown, ABC

News Beirut. Canberra's only

taxy xans in trouble with its

passengers again. Its

computerised booking system develop add glitch

develop add glitch last night

and wiped the morning's

bookings. 100 customers were

left waiting for cabs that never came but the Government

is reluctant to fine if

company despite threatening

to do so for months. People

are losing patients. From a

business point of view my

business colleague thanks

come to Canberra I said don't

rely on the cabs at all.

I've just counted 200 people

standing in a queue at

Canberra airport trying to

get a cab. These guys ought

to get their act together. 100 bookings were

wiped off the system

overnight leaving early morning customers with no

transport and queues at the

airport as cabbies played

catch-up. Last night's problems were substantial and they could have been better

handled in the community and

the community probably needed

more warning that there was a

more warning that there was a problem. But Canberra Cabs

says a application of public announcement would have

caused alarm. Given that

such a small sample of people

we do not believe it is wise

to cause concern over a wider

group of people. The minister

says the situation is

unacceptable and he has

threatened new laws to ban

the voice recognition booking

system. Coincidentally, Mr

Speaker, we have been considering whether or not

considering whether or not to bring legislation forward to

this place to mandate an

operator-assisted

service. The minister has

previously attacked Canberra

Cabs for failing to meet

service standards. We really

need to do something about

that. The service is just not

good enough. Back then he threatened to fine the

company if it didn't lift its

game but so far no penalty

has been imposed even though the accidental loss of

the accidental loss of bookings has happened before

Yes, it has. This is not an

uncommon event in the taxi despatch software, we have

been able to work our way

around it in the past. The

opposition says the company

is doing a good job and the

Government should work on providing alternative transport. Parent who receive welfare payments could soon

be forced to spend part of

the their money on recent and

food for their children. The

food for their children. The Federal Government says

children are losing out

because of their parents's

drug and gambling addictions

but the plan has been

condemned as simplistic by a

wide range of welfare groups.

Talking to the groups in

Sydney Mal Brough's opinion

was breach. He said too much

kids are going without food,

kids are going without food,

housing and clothes because

parents welfare money is

being spent on drugs, alcohol

and gambling. Now the

minister has the green light

from Government to target the

parents of at-risk children

and the policy would apply

the parents whose children

skip school. Truancy is to

be a high indicator of neglect. Welfare groups say

they are keen to work with

the Government but it is on

the wrong track. These

issues of families dealing

with drug and alcohol issues

and gambling are human issues

not financial issues. Coming

in with a financial respns

alone is not going to do the

trick. If a parent or

family is not living up to

their responsibilities it is

not a solution to take over

those responsibilities. Labor

is sceptical too. The Government is usually

interested in getting an

outcome that please's few

voters as opposed to an

outcome that solves the problem. The minister stays

no-one would lose any money

but they could be issued with

a debit card with in-built

spending restrictions.. there

is no punishment here. The

punish. Is where children are

not being provided with

decent meal. The Federal

Government controls and

delivers welfare payments but

says it cannot

says it cannot go ahead

without the States

cooperation. Mal Brough wants

State child protection

agencies to identify which

families should have spending

restricted. If the States

agree the welfare shake-up

could begin early next

year. The king of Tonga has

promised democratic reform in

a bid to ease the crisis over

last week's deadly riots. In

a speech to Parliament King George V

George V said the differences

between his Government and proper-democracy groups could

be resolved through

discussion. An explosive

salute in honour of a king

whose realm is in

unprecedented turmoil. King

George TupoV arrived to close

the Parliament in a part of the

the capital completely shut

off to the public.

Australia's new High

Commission er was among the

few the hear the speech

first-hand. Speaking in

Tongan King George said his

people had become prisoners

in their own homes. He put

the damage bill for the riots

at $200 million but promised a more

a more democratic form of

Government. Some were moved,

others dismissive. The

king's speech was nice,

conciliatory, with

nothing. One of the king's

Cousins who represents nobles in the Parliament boycotted

the session claiming he would

not sit with the commoner MPs

whom he labelled terrorists.

We might as well invite Osama

bin Laden to attend the

closing of Parliament. I'm

not a terrorist.

not a terrorist. I'm only

doing my job. The Tongan

Parliament now goes into

recess for six months which

means it will not meet again

until next May Tpro-democracy

movement says some dialogue

has to happen before then.

Schools in the capital remain

closed because children who

witnessed last week's

rampageing mobs remain traumatised.

traumatised. It is wise to

just keep kids within the

precincts of their home. King

George's reign has begun with

events that have shaken the constitutional foundations of

Tonga. Still to come on ABC

News a mother duck take the

honours at the Australian

Masters. When it comes the

abuse of the elderly many people

people think of physical or sexual violence, but new

revery p shows that in many

cases it is the police use of

medicine which is often their

weapon of choice. The

research showed in many cases

abuse occurs because carers

cannot cope with the demands

of looking after their elderly relatives or

patients. We are seeing

over use and that might be

sedatives being used all day

sedatives being used all day instead of just at

night. Aged care specialist

Susan Curl says most of the

abuse she has seen occurs

when the elderly are looked after by relatives in their

own home. It is where carers

are perhaps having trouble

coping so they are using

drugs in a wrong way. Soft

worst cases included a

78-year-old man given high

doses of anti psychotic

medication by his partner to

medication by his partner to cause drawsiness and

confusion. A man in his 80s

almost died when he was given massive doses of a blood-thining drug by his

son. An 81-year-old man was

given double doses of

epilepsy medication by his

wife the keep him drowsy. In

some cases carers withheld

crucial immediate cases. We

had a case where antibiotics

were not being given by a son to his

to his mother, probably in an

attempt to hasten her death

so clearly abusive. Experts

on a conference heard abuse

of medicines was difficult

the detect. If the person has dementia sometimes there

is a tendency for other

people to think it is just

dementia talk and dismiss it

but unless it is taken

seriously and checked out we

will never know had something

bad is happening. The abuse

was often picked up by nurses, GPs

nurses, GPs or pharmacists

who noticed prescriptions

were being filled too often.

The National Museum of

Australia has paid $200,000

for a rare relic of explorer Ludwig Leichardt's last

mission. The explorer's brass

name plate was found attached

to his burnt-out firearm near

Stuart Creek in Western

Australia. It is the first authenticated art

authenticated art fact from

the his final expedition in

1848. The museum says the

name plate may have been made

from a flattened nail. It is an object opening up and

saying "Yes, I was on a

sweaty horse, yes, I was part

of a gun, yes I was made by

someone who was not

particularly skilled" and a

whole lot of things like

that. The name plate was

that. The name plate was

found by the Bristow Smith

Family of shut Australia in

1900. It will be on display

at the museum until early

December. The local fair

market rose today even though

Qantas share prices fell back. Here is Jenna-Louise Coleman. The latest company

in to take over spotlight is

Fosters with rumours that a

Biddiscombe fringe the

Belgian brewer which make

Belgian brewer which make s

beer. Fosters share prices

jumped 4 per cent leaving a

advance of one-third of one

per cent by the All

Ordinaries. Woodside fell in

response the lower oil price. Qantas - the finance group

said it was thinking of joining the bid for

Australia's national airline

which sent its shares 7 per

cent higher but Qantas's

price dipped because of the political opposition to a

political opposition to a

take over. Meanwhile the main

bidder for Qantas, Macquarie

bank, get on with life,

teaming up with Tatts to buy

a British pokey company. On

commodity markets, zinc

continued its rise up 3.7 per

cent while copper rose as

well and the oil price fell

1.5 per cent while platinum

slumped more than 5 per cent.

Tonight's graph is the zinc and

and copper prices so far this

year. Both metals doubled in

price up to the middle of May

and then eased for four

months as analysts rung their

hands and worried about

supply and demand. Then in late September zinc took off

again because of a sudden

shortage of stocks on the

London metals exchange while

copper continued to fall. The

boffins are still worried

about copper but they cannot

see where the next on the of

zinc is coming from.

zinc is coming from. US

shares were quiet and mixed

last night in the lead-up to thanksgiving and the Australian dollar continues

the rise against the US dollar but ease against theen

and the euro. That is

finance. All-new televisions

and accessories will soon carry labels showing whether

they will work in the digital

era. Only a quarter of

Australian households have

converted to digital TV and

converted to digital TV and

the 00-year-old analog system

is due to be shut down in the

next six years. The communications minister says customers need to know more

about the equipment they are

buying now. Mandatory

labelling at the point of

sale will help consumers examination digital

television issues more

closely when making their

next television or home

entertainment purchase. A $17

million industry body will be

set up to run digital TV

advertising and education

campaigns. Plenty of resolve,

plenty of runs, Australia has

begun its campaign to win

back the Ashes in fine style

T home side dominated the

opening day of the first Test

in Brisbane. Ricky Ponting

won the toss and then scored

a century to lead his side

towards an imposing first

ininnigs total. The wait

ininnigs total. The wait for

this celebration of the game

had been excruciating.

Emotions bubbled beneath a

carefully selected wardrobe

at the sell-out crowd

completed their vibrant and amid tight security,

sometimes frustrating journey

into the Gabba. Ricky Ponting

made the first good

decision. We will have a

bat. Between the relaxed and

the pensive, hearts pumped with national pride,

with national pride, there

was nothing wrong with the

welcome for the Ashes

holders. Or their body language, though after

Australia gal opened into the

battle that betrayed them. Justin Langer hit five fours

in his first 15 deliveries.

Matthew Hayden flashed before

finding the spot.

finding the spot. And Steve

Harmison exited the attack

after 2 overs for 17 as

England faced the early

inquisition. Methodingly and

flamboyantly Justin Langer

led the charge. That is an

impressive and professional

50 from Justin Langer. But a

blossoming partnership was

interrupt youed by England's

fiery captain who claimed

fiery captain who claimed

Matthew Hayden. The 100

before lunch was foot a good

sign. Until Justin Langer's

aggressive bent undid his century ambitions. Fortune

favoured the home them as one

attacker substituted the

other. Leading England it

would seem like lambs to the

slaughter, the silence was

slaughter, the silence was deafening. Ashley Giles

explored Martins penchant for

the late cut and at 3/198

balance was partly restored

but it was shoved lift. Mike

Hussey kept England on his

toes while on his knees Kevin

Pietersen had a Simon

Jones-type scare. He

recovered the watch the

mayhem T closest England came

to emoving Ricky Ponting was

when eccentric umpire Billy

Bowden raised his finger to

scratch his cheek. 18 months

of pent-up frustration after

the last ashes defeat bubbled

into a euphoric release as

Ponting reached his 32rd Test

century. What a hundred that

is! With Hussey as a solid

ally Ricky Ponting has taken

the first steps towards ashes

unfamiliar look to redemption. There is an

unfamiliar look to the top of

the leaderboard after the

first round of the Australian

Masters in Melbourne. Most of

Australia's top players had

solid opening round but today's honours went to

21-year-old Aaron Pike a

cricket-playing amateur from

Darwin. Low scoring was the

order of the Dale at

Huntingdale Tasmania pros

took advantage of the perfect

conditions. Defending

champion Alan by put his

esent injury problems behind

him and looked to regain some

of last year's touch. While

his putting let him down Alan

by remains in contention.

Lonard spent yesterday playing around with Jimmy

barns but there was nothing

working class about his round

of 68. Peter Wilson may not

hang out with rock stores but the little known Victorian played like

played like one. He shot a 65. The masters is

cosanctioned by the European

tour and Englishman Nick

Dougherty made the most of

his invitation. Justin Rose

started well at 6 under par

after 14 holes but as the

wind picked up late in the

day Rose wilted, he bogeyed

each of the last three holes

to finish at 59. It was

upstaged by a 21 year-old

amateur from Darwin when

Aaron Pike took the

first-round lead. I just

qualified last Tuesday and

came outnd had a dream

round. Pike's putting was a

fee tour as he at 6 birdies

and an eagle to his score

card. It was not that easy

for every one. Some golfers

showed how tough it is to get

a birdie out of a bunker,

although Peter O'Malley

showed how it was done. Now

with a look at the weather

here is John Ringwood. Good

evening. Another fine, warm

day here in the national

capital. Wind were light to

mod dat westerly. High cloud

about and the maximum temperature was well above

average. It got to 31 guess

at 1.20. In

at 1.20. In Canberra the

temperature 27 degrees. Wind

from the west north-west at

20 km/h. Relative humidity

20, the barometer steady.

Cloudy periods along the

coast with moderate to fresh

south-east winds. sunny and

windy in Golbourn with gusts

at 56 kilometres. 30 degrees

in Yass.

The capital cities - cloud

increasing sunshine in increasing in Sid ni,

Melbourne, mostly cloudy in

Hobart and sunny and mostly

sunny in the other capital.

The satellite picture shows

cloud over Western Australia

associated with a trough.

There is high cloud over the

ACT and New South Wales. The

rest of the continent

cloud-free. The system should dominate conditions

over the region well into

next week. Not much on the

projected rainfall map.

Isolated rain over parts of

WA and showers along the West

Coast of Tasmania. A late

shower or two in Hobart, a

fine late gusty storm in Darwin,

fine with early cloud in Sydney and fine in the other

capitals. For the region

tomorrow some early cloud in

Wollongong. Mostly sunny in

Nowra and Batemans Bay.

temperatures in the low to

mid 30s in the west. Fine

tonight in Canberra with

light winds. Fine

light winds. Fine tomorrow,

mostly sunny and temperatures

from 11 to 31. The outlook is

for a high pressure ridge to

maintain fine conditions well

into next week. There could

be some instability about

late Tuesday or early

Wednesday but at this stage there does not seem to be

much chance of rain. Before

we go, a brief recap of our

top stories tonight T

most of the firefighters are confident

most of the blazes burning

around New South Wales will

be contained over the next

couple of days A masterful on the from captain Ricky Ponting has put Australia in

a strong position on day one

of the first Ashes Test in

Brisbane. That is ABC News.

Stay with us for the '7.30

Report' next. Enjoy your

evening. Goodnight. Closed

Captions by CSI

There's people out there who

are biologically related to you

and you have no knowledge of

them. Tonight - the test tube

generation left in a genetic

limbo. To not know who the

donor is a really frightening

thing. I think it is a

disgrace. And inside the Barmy

disgrace. And inside the Barmy

Army. Why it's a full-time yob? We're in a competitive

business, but we've got a good

merchandising arm. They've

reduced crowd behaviour to the lowest common denominator. CC