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This program is captioned live. Counting down - Barack Obama back in Washington, as time begins to run out for a tax compromise.The American people have a right to be very upset with this Congress. Stormin' Norman - the death of the US General synonymous with Desert Storm.
New generation - the Bhutto dynasty lives on as Benezir's son makes an emotional political debut. Record finish - 'Wild Oats XI' beats its own time to take its sixth Sydney to Hobart line honours. The boys were just pushing the whole time and then the record popped up, and we thought God, we might have a chance at this, guys."

Good evening, and welcome to the program. I'm Kathy Novak. Later, Michael Tomalaris will join me with all the day's sports, including - Sri Lanka the walking wounded, as Australia scores a massive second test win at the

With just four days until the US goes over the fiscal cliff, President Obama has returned to Washington for emergency meetings with congressional leaders. As the deadline for billions of dollars of spending cuts and tax increase looms the chances of a last minute deal are looking less and

In a New York's Times Square, the final preparations are being made for unease eve of. This year, it is not just the crystal ball, but the entire US economy that could drop at midnight.Mr President, the American people are waiting for the ball to shop. But it would not be a good job.Senators have returned to Washington, as has President Obama, who has cut short his family holiday in Hawaii. Starbucks coffee shops are urging both parties to come together.If we go over the cliff, and that looks like that is where we are headed, the House of Representatives, as we speak, with four days left, are not here. The Speaker told them he will give the 48 hours' notice.There is no indication that congressmen are ready to strike a compromise deal. Most Democrats are willing to raise taxes only on those making more than $250,000 a year. The President is willing to compromise, going as high as $400,000. House Republicans are split.

With congressional elections held every two years, many Republicans feared they would not be renominated because Conservative challenges from their own side will attack them. Senate Republicans say it is not the house but President who should put forward a compromise.Members of both sides will review it. Then we would decide how best to proceed. Closer look, there is still some time for an agreement of some kind that says the taxpayers from a wholly preventable economic crisis.Four if a deal is not struck before year's end, the next session begins on 3rd January, in which lawmakers can still vote to cut taxes. The famed US General Norman Schwarzkopf, who led coalition forces in the first Gulf War, has died. The general had retired to Florida after 35 years of military service. Popularly known as Stormin' Norman, Schwarzkopf was seen as an American hero. Norman Schwarzkopf, was a powerful force in his own right, a general, combat veteran, and famed military commander.Air attacks are underway against military targets in Iraq.With those words, Norman Schwarzkopf was to write into the spotlight after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. He directed the build-up of 750,000 coalition troops, and in general, 1991, commanded Operation Desert Storm. A six-week air assault on Iraqi forces. It pushed Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in just 100 hours. Norman Schwarzkopf's followed his father, also a decorated general, into the military. In Vietnam, he rescued his men trapped in a minefield.

From his hospital bed, George Bush Senior also released a statement:

Norman Schwarzkopf retired from active service a few months after the Gulf War.No words can ever capture the motions they go through a person's heart when he stands for the last time, and hears the national anthem and salutes the American flag representing the country that he is gladly, proudly served for the last 35 years. Norman Schwarzkopf won another battle just two years later, against prostate cancer. There is no word yet on what caused his death. The son of Pakistan's assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has launched his political career on the anniversary of his mother's death. She was killed in an attack after an election rally. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari vowed to continue his mother's fight for democracy. Leaches away from his mother's team, but no longer in his shadow, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari himself the air of Pakistan's pram the political dynasty. -- metres

Thousands gathered at the mausoleum in the country's south, paying their respects to the assassinated Benazir Bhutto, on the fifth anniversary of her death. Her son it promised to continue her fight for the democracy and the

The family has been in politics for nearly all of the country's 65-year history.

He was ousted in a coup and hangs on a still disputed charge murder. He's assassinated daughter was twice prime minister, the first woman to lead a Muslim state. Her husband, is Pakistan's current President. Standing by his side, he said his son was ready to work for the people. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was just 19 when his mother was killed while campaigning. He was made chairperson before leaving to study at Oxford University. He is expected to act as a figurehead for the party, which is unpopular. TRANSLATION: They have rolled over the country for five years but fell to overcome the miseries of before poor. -- they have bought over the country.He turns 25, the minimum age, in September. Doctors in Singapore are battling to save the life of the 23- year- old Indian woman, whose gang rape sparked massive protests in Delhi. Her condition is being described as extremely critical. The unrest has prompted the government to announce it will make public the names, addresses and photographs of those convicted of rape. The demands the range from an oval caught in such a crime laws to changes in the way police respond to women seeking help. But at the heart of the frustrations is the Government's lethargy.Women are on the streets saying, do not tell me had a dress, teacher sons not to rape. They are not getting the message its. -- teacher science. Protesters are asking why it has taken protest site Dees and the Government so long to pay any attention to the issue. -- protest like these. Hundreds of men accused of sexual violence had been allowed to stand in elections in the past five years. Currently, six members of the ledger to free assembly are charged with rape. -- legislative. We asked these man, a minister of parliamentary affairs, for his comments.Unless someone has been convicted by the court of law, he is not far from elections.But according to the author of the report, it can take up to nine years to convict a person facing a rape charge.In a lot of cases, you are in a very powerful position. Some of these people become ministers. If you are a must -- If you are a minister, you are controlling it. The police are reporting to you.The protesters were top -- stopped by barricades and riot police before they could reach their destinations. The discussion has turned to how the police can impose the law when required to buy a authorities, and why the same result cannot be used for crimes against women. Lakhdar Brahimi has called for real change in Syria to end the 21-month old conflict. The top United Nations official ones a transitional Government to be established, with full powers to rule the country until elections. But opposition leaders say the only solution is the departure of President Bashar Al- Assad. As civilians watched the destruction of homes and businesses in Homs, to pronounce in Damascus gained new momentum in the pushchair end the conflict.-- Porsche to its end.

Lakhdar Brahimi called for the end to it the violence.

A plan discussed during end international conference on Syria in Geneva in June, proposed a basic road mac for the interim Government. It also proposed a contingency plan. Lakhdar Brahimi says the plan could end the crisis within the next few months. But he insisted Syrian Government structures must be kept in tack. A requirement that is unacceptable for opposition leaders.

But Russian officials are focused on fulfilling the plan approved in Geneva, which would include members of the Assad regime. Lakhdar Brahimi would travel to Moscow, hoping to resolve and pass. -- impasse. 64% of Americans believe arming at least one school official would prove somewhat effective, to a Gallup poll. Almost two weeks after the Sandy Hook school massacre, some teachers have chosen to use their holidays to learn how to shoot. America's National Rifle Association has moved to clarify its position on weapons in schools. It says schools should decide for themselves how to protect their students. Now a quick look at some of the other stories making news around the world - the leader of one of Africa's poorest countries has appealed for help from the United States and France. Began his fake, but these teachers feared the threat facing their classrooms very real. 200 of those teachers became students. Packing a conference room on the holiday break, to learn how to carry a concealed weapon on the job. And had to protect their scores from an armed intruder.Safety is the biggest part. Using them appropriately is the high priority. Utah is one of the few states were public schools allow guns on the campus. But in the wake of the shooting, the push is onto add more state to that list. Arizona's Attorney General once every school principal armed. Ohio, applications for one shooting cause is up 20%. Some gun advocates say arming teachers is like arming airline pilots. It could be enough to stop the bad guys. In 1997, an armed vice-principal in Mississippi manage to stop a 16-year-old shooter. But there was also combined. 15 people died and the armed security officer on campus could not stop it.The NRA's bank records are arm are school is nothing more then a distraction. -- blanket statement to arm our schools. America's National Rifle Association has moved to clarify its position on weapons in schools. It says schools should decide for themselves on how to protect their students.
A quick look and some of the other stories making use around the world - the leader of one of Africa's poorest countries has appealed for help from the US and France. Rebel soldiers have seized large swathes of the Central African and are now closing in on the capital. The US has moved to evacuate its embassy staff, but hasn't responded to any calls for assistance.
Egypt's state prosecutor has ordered the transfer of former president Hosni Mubarak to a military hospital as his continues to deteriorate. Mubarak, who is serving a life sentence over the killing of protesters, taken to hospital earlier this month after falling over in a prison bathroom. And around 15,000 farmers living on the slopes of Nicaragua's San Cristobal volcano have ignored calls to evacuate after it started spewing gas and ash. Hundreds of defence troops have been to the area to try and convince up to 300 families to leave. But locals say it happens so regularly, they don't see the point. 'Wild Oats XI' is on course to complete a historic treble, after claiming Sydney to Hobart line honours for a sixth time. The super maxi finished in an official time of one day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds to break her own race record. She is in a strong position to take out honours.
'Wild Oats XI''s chances of breaking its own marks look to have sailed by. The strong Northerlies were replaced by it westerlies. But as the five-time winner went towards the finish line, the forecast start westerlies came into full Russian.It was really satisfying. Then the records came up.Then with the help of hi-tech racing one vacations and massive sale, the rest, as they say was history. They shaved almost 17 minutes from their own at Sydney to Hobart benchmark. The victory was sweeter following last year's heartbreaking last.It is wonderful. Mark Richards admitted it was not all smooth sailing, but was proud of the way the current pull together as 18.We had a few situations on the boat in the first night. It was pretty tricky. conditions, always dangerous. Everyone was looking after each other.'Ragamuffin Loyal' cross the line around 4.5 hours behind to claim second place. It will escape a time penalty after jumping it starts on Boxing Day. While the crew of 'Wild Oats XI' celebrated, they focused on their record of several more line on a victories. He there is a good chance that we could get to 71-day. That is the record.Apart from a victorious skipper at Constitution Dock, the race claimed two casualties late Thursday with last year's Handicap runner Arthur and a victory in boat both forced to retire. Of the remaining craft, the main threat to Bob La Castra's treble aspirations has come. -- 'Wild Oats XI'. Joining us now live from Constitution Dock in Hobart is 'Wild Oats XI' skipper Mark Richards. Congratulations. You are on the verge of repeating your famous treble of 2005, when you won Line Honours, Handicap Honours the race record. How does this victory compare?He is really exciting. Still hard to believe. The guys did a fantastic job. It was a great race. We are very happy. Last year 'Ragamuffin Loyal' got the better of you on the Derwent, but today the winds were with you on the home straight?That is right. We had a good deed it around the whole race. We redeem ourselves from last year. It is a fantastic boat, 'Wild Oats XI'.Bob Oatley says his boat can't be improved. He's putting a bit of pressure on you for next year isn't he?He is always putting pressure on us. That is what is fun.Thank you. You are watching World Australia. Revellers readying for New Years Eve, as police warn against dangerous behaviour. The ongoing challenges facing housing estate residents in Dubbo. And later, the YouTube taking a kick at the big league.

If you're caught speeding these Christmas-New Year holidays, you're on your way to losing your licence. Or if you and any of your passengers are caught not wearing their seatbelt, your licence could be gone. Remember, double demerit points these Christmas-New Year holidays.

The Sydney skyline Disney's default on Mark Kylie Minogue. It is a special creation by the family who had been entertaining audiences with their fireworks for more than a decade. But revellers are being warned not to misbehave as they ring in 2013. A spectacular demonstration of the dangers of illegal Queensland authorities to seize the explosives were on that those who flout the law this news Eve will be caught.Over the last two years, we have had 250 people prosecuted for the use of the illegal fireworks in Queensland.In Melbourne, police plan to crack down on bad behaviour, deploying more than 500 officers. If you are caught on the streets and you are drunk, you could be fined over $400.The Southern Capital claims its knees Eve fireworks display will be the biggest yet. -- New Year's Eve. The family behind Sydney's display separate villas will be mesmerised by their fireworks.There are many new FX we are using this year which we have never used before. In the shapes of animals, hands, feet.His daughter is the eighth generation of the family to learn the trade. She is the envy of all her friends. It is not the usual every day job, obviously. When your friends ask for what you're doing these holidays, I tell them I'm up the knee is -- New Year's fireworks and they think it is crazy.The centrepiece will be created with the help of Kylie Minogue, who will press the button at midnight. What does it take to create one of the world's biggest New Year's Eves displays? Seven tons of fireworks, 100,000 at pyrotechnic it affects. Issued or add up to one big bang. What about the symbol on the iconic Harbour Bridge?My lips are sealed.Only three more sleeves and so we all find out. -- sleeps. Asylum seekers on Manus Island have asked a Australian Government to improve their living conditions. The biggest concern is the question of when processing is likely to begin. They are threatening mass protest unless the concerns are addressed. Asylum seekers have formally written to the Federal Government, detailing their concerns about current living situations on Manus Island. The letter comes after reports emerged of a Christmas Eve a scuffle at the detention centre, involving Sri Lankan and Iranian detainees. Seven people were over -- seven people were injured in the five. The concerns include the increasingly harsh living conditions, heat, dust, and malaria topping the list. Racal say the children are the worst affected, and able to eat or concentrate. Asylum seekers are desperate to know when they will be a released. Advocates believe mass protest will follow if the Government fails to formally respond to the letter.We were seeing hunger strikes on Manus Island. Significant hunger strikes at Nauru already. We can see either bat or some other kind of protest action. That is if the Government does not give the people some indication of what their future is likely to be. That's all they want to know. They want some at least from the uncertainty.There are currently 130 refugees on islands, mainly families. Single men are main news centre and Aaron Baddeley. The Government is refusing to backdown from their controversial arrangements but are expected to respond to the letter in coming days. Nearly six years ago, a predominately housing estate in central NSW made national headlines. The Gordon Estate was controversially poured down in after a media outlets reported a New Year's Eve riot. The state governor claimed it was successful in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour. There are now concerns of high-level interest disadvantaged have shifted to another estate across town. Single mother Phyllis Nelson has not lived in her estate for very long. Before a night time home invasion year.They got through my daughter's to bedroom window. They use a screwdriver to get in. daughter, one of three children, is now too scared to go to the bathroom alone at night.That is where the key to my window. According to her mother, someone also try to burn her home at down. We record dogs because we rang the police. -- we were called.The NSW Department of Housing told us they invited her to discuss her situation but they found claims of one going harassment to be unfounded. Crime indicators failed after the Government pulled down a problem estate on the other side of town in 2006. But since families were moved on, the arson, drugs, alcohol, truancy, and claims of police harassment and now commonplace here as well. Some people, including the mayor, say this estate must be broken up as well. But it was the local MP who has been dealt the job in finding the solution.We need some game changing solutions. But will benefit every community.Troy Grant wants a better mix of social and private housing, not the use of bulldozers. He admits a small minority is causing most of the problems. But he denies the police are too tough. While people here are sick of the crime, they are also tied of their names being dragged in the mud. They say the good eggs on the estate should be ignored. Lionel Wood grew up on the estate which was demolished. He now works with teenagers and others at the local community centre. He will soon take up a career with the police.I have never seen the true sense of the word community until I was working here. Everyone knows everyone.There are real problems here. But there are -- is also optimism from some of the people who know it

Different year, saying crisis - that feeling has characterised 2012 when it comes to the global economy. At last e global economy. At last year's eurozone debt dragged on and created we did other deeper problems. Last year, entire nation still on the brink. This was the year when citizens bore the brunt of austerity cuts they were told they must endure. Australia immune to the global conditions. Australia was not immune. Up to 80,000 Athenians were part of the rampage.In the eurozone, which is the epicentre of the crisis.

Greece, banks and viable.In Greece, doctors and pharmacists begin Europe's first sts begin Europe's first strike of 2012.This pain could be heading down the same road.Greece is part of the European family.In Italy, the Government has announced a $1 billion economic process.Italy's Prime Minister warned that the debt crisis is dividing Europe.More dainty austerity protests and strikes in Europe.A bewildered could be plunged into another recession. -- the world.The only possibility for world.The only possibility for Greece is to remain within the euro.For the Greek people it remains - make it means a 20% cut in the minimum wage, 15,000 public sector jobs axed and another $400 billion in spending is and this austerity.Another problem is Spain. The Eurogroup chairman showed his frustration, jokingly strangling frustration, jokingly strangling Spain's finance minister after the country must its debt reduction target.Banks across the eurozone were under acute distress.The Portuguese prepared for a general strike tomorrow. Many protested as Angela Merkel arrived in Lisbon, where she endorsed the country's austerity drive. She remains the central figure of the eurozone.Over 500 billion euros has now been allocated for eurozone bail-outs.Wall Street's main industries all et's main industries all fell overnight. Worse than ht. Worse than expected jobs growth in March was compounded by the bad news added ed by the bad news added Europe.That America's debt has hit 16 trillion Down, down, down. Moody's mood so some of ody's mood so some of the banking sector's biggest players as concerns rise about long-term growth prospects. Three of America's big four Banks, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America, have been downgraded, with the letter praised two above junk status. HSBC find $1.8 billion - the largest in US banking history.It is sustained and systemic failure to guard against the corruption of our financial system by traffickers and em by drug traffickers and other criminals.

We are a beacon of strength compared to what is going on in this fragile global environment.At 3%, rates are at their lowest level since the global financial crisis. With numbers like these, the treasurer cannot stop smiling.We get quite a few visitors from abroad of the Reserve Bank and they all remark on how pessimistic people seem to be when they come to Australia.Roughly 500 positions will be made redundant.Jobs will be lost he end up to 150 stores will close. The company revealed it is cutting up to 100 Africans want positions. Africans want to work and its workers are ork and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day.Dramatically lower tax revenue now makes it unlikely that there will be a surplus in

YouTube has been responsible for launching the careers of pop stars such as Justin Bieber. Now, it might put a little kick in the step of a Norwegian athlete. He has attracted the attention of America's National Football League after posting for teacher on the video sharing website. He's been hired to try out for the NFL. Havard Rugland has never played football, but he can do this this with a pigskin. A Lifeline -- lifelong that soccer player with a killer left foot, he bought his first football last year when his soccer team disbanded.It find a new team or find a new hobby. That is why I started kicking.He made this YouTube video. That is his brother caching from a moving car. He admits some kicks took multiple attempts. Hundreds of thousands of its later any mail arrived from the New York Jets. They were inviting this Norwegian of us to try out for the team. Did you ever think it would lead to this?No, never. It was more like a thing to do for myself. training and trial went can nail field goals from 57, 58 yards.He has ability but you do not know what you have until Beerwah in a crucial situation. Jets have asked him back for another look. And he wouldn't want a kicker who can do this? And

The viral video has recorded more than 1.4 million hits. Coming up: All of the latest on the Sydney to Hobart Handicap Chase. Plus, Australia rampant at the MCG to leave Sri Lanka battered beaten.
Also, A-League leaders Central Coast counting the cost after the red mist clears from by Sydney

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In finance news, a Japanese factory output is apanese factory output is underscoring the task that lies ahead for the new Conservative government. The 1.7% drop in ent. The 1.7% drop in output between October and November was worse than expected. The Liberal Democratic Party power this week on a campaign that pledge to inject new life into the limp economy. In Spain, commuters in Madrid have had their underground services disrupted after carried out a partial strike. Crowds waited for lengthy with only 38% of Underground services working as usual. Workers were protesting against wage cuts which have been imposed despite ticket prices increasing by 30% in

the past year. The Australian share market hit a 19-month high on its last full day of trade for the year. A 3% rise in iron-ore prices overnight sparked a rally in resource stocks and the retail sector continued its upward trajectory. Tokyo's Nikkei finished stronger, with confidence growing that the new government will turn around their ailing economy. Wall Street retreated, with investors increasingly nervous about the current fiscal in pass in Congress. That rise in iron-ore prices and resource equity saw a buy-up of the Australian dollar. It is stronger against all the major currencies. Both gold and oil have foreword followed the upward trend. Now for a look at the cricket. It ended early today? It sure did. It was almost unexpected. Australia's victory came at a big crossed -- big cost to the tourists. Kumar Sangakkara has been called out -- and rolled out of the third Test with a broken finger.

A series of injuries, good bowling and poor shots saw Sri Lanka torn apart by a rampant Aussie bowling attack. Two more wickets for Jackson bird. Australia had piled on a lead of nearly 300 by the end of day two and Mitchell Johnson was back to try and claim his second Test century. While he was Nathan Lyon along the way, -- lost Nathan Lyon along the way, Jackson bird's arrival on the spur him on. But with Johnson just eight runs from his century, Bird flew the Cooper. So it was bye-bye Birdie and Sri Lankans with a mountain to climb. After just the first over, the slim hopes they had vanished. Upset about missing the figures, Johnson more than made up for it with the ball in hand. While Bird continued his impressive debut.

With Angelo Mathews living dangerously, he and Sangakkara had two more days to bat and tried to begin. After the break, there was another break. Kumar Sangakkara rapped on the clubs and soon rushed to hospital.

The march of the walking wounded continuing as the wickets tumbled. Beside show there were still runs in the pitch, but Nathan Lyon would have the last laugh.

The match over, the Sri Lankans now fighting to get a team on the field for the Sydney Test.Last count was have -- we have about 12 guys out. We just need to sit back and have our thoughts back in order.'s is also struggling with injuries, with Shane Watson brought out of the New Year's Test with a calf injury. Today was Michael Clarke's opportunity to reflect on a record- breaking year.It was nice to have scored some runs and be leading the way as the captain. I think it is part of your responsibility as a leader to make sure you performing on the field.An innings and 200 m run 1 victory the perfect gift for the Australian team. -- 201 run. Brett Lee has stood by his criticism of NSW chief executive Brad Gilbert, which has led to former Test fast bowler facing hearing next In last night's -- last night's Big Bash laid, Brad Hodge cracked 88 off 55 balls. It is Melbourne's 4th consecutive win, to lift them to second on the ladder. As it -- the celebrations are continuing in Hobart for the of Wild Oats XI. Having claimed the race record, the crew of the winning Super Max Sica now has an anxious wait for handicap honours. , must cross the line by 1:31am to deny Mark Richards' boat the treble. Either way, the group is a pride is proud to have arrived in record time.She is a fantastic bird. A route the -- I think it is first bird in the history of the event to get two records.Although the described his six Sydney to Hobart victory as the sweetest. It comes after the disappointment of last year. Expectations are high for Sydney FC to continue its winning ways, despite the spiteful scenes which led to two red cards in last night's A-League ride match is at - grudge match with Central Coast.

At times it got very ugly. for his graceful style over the ball, this tackle spark an all-in brawl. The reckless challenge given the required what -- required treatment. The Mariners' downfall hampered by downfall hampered by another minutes later. The two red cards cab of a night of disappointment for the isappointment for the league leaders.We have taught many times about stupid yellow cards and things like that. We are going to be hurt now for the next game.The Mariners were their own worst enemy. They could have easily lead on several occasions. As Australian Cricket Realty looked on from the stands, football as the Italian white knight did everything in his power to generate power on the field. Rather than raise the white flag and settle for a draw, the boys in blue for to the death. The winning goal a turnaround of the humiliating 7-2 thrashing in Gosford seven weeks ago.What have been asking for is being more consistent. We cannot do we just one week and have two weeks off. The win wo weeks off. The win move Sydney off the bottom for the first time in six weeks. It the extreme heat wave in Perth could not stop a red hot Wanderers.

A brilliant first-half strike was cancelled out by his golf. The one -- 1-1 draw Leeds Western Sydney in third position, ahead of Melbourne Victory on goal difference, who play Newcastle erence, who play Newcastle tonight. The Andy Murray's preparations for the Australian Open have suffered a setback. The reigning US Open champion made a faltering start to the new season at the invitation exhibition event in Abu Dhabi. He made numerous errors on his way to a straight-sets defeat by Serbia's player. Another Serb making an impact is Novac Djokovic. Always a guarantee to draw a big crowd. The 25-year-old is happy with his Australian Open preparations, which will include playing in the Hoffman Cup in Perth.We have planned will, as we do every single For that the Australian Open, I'm going to be 100%.He is also why not a first French Open crown next year to become just the 8th play to win all four Grand Slam titles. Will he do it? More than likely. Coming up: All the weather details and the White Christmas that overstayed its welcome. The US snowed under by extreme weather.

Hazardous weather in the US has claimed the lives of at least 15 people in it is not over yet. Part of the country are preparing to blanketed by a blizzard. Cities that are already buried in snow are going to be hit again. Millions of Americans are in the path of the new storms. White at conditions in Ohio. Powerful Binns in Arkansas. The winter blast now accounting for 15 deaths, most of them on the nation's roads, where black guys led to accident after accident. I've lost count of the number of cars I have seen in the ditch. Today the north-east was digging out. This man spend hours trying to rescue his car hearings to reduce. What is it like dealing with this much snow?A lot of agony and back- breaking.Mother Nature is also wreaking havoc in the skies. Today alone close to 700 flights were cancelled and in the past 48 hours nearly 3,000. On New York's Long Island, this plane skidded off runway, getting stuck in the mud. 129 passengers evacuated safely.

And right out side the Snow's own, but still in Major's path, New Jersey, a town already battered by hurricane Sandy. Back here, crews have cleared many of the main roads, moving these mountains of snow. Tonight, the fear is these lush tones to Wise, making travel even more difficult. People say it -- officials say if you do not have be out, stay home. Hundreds of thousands of people are reported to have lost power as electricity wires snapped under To the forecast:

pressure.
To the forecast: Troughs over Queensland and all the NSW are causing potentially severe thunderstorms. hot is the least are affecting Central and WA. In the major centres:

The annual Woodford Folk Festival is under way in Jinbara Country near the Sunshine Coast Queensland. Celebrating its 2070, the festival is the biggest of kind in Australia. -- 27th year. The festival kicked off with dancing and a feisty performance. The traditional owners of the land says there is a lot of goodwill between festival organisers and traditional owners.Any way you go away indigenous people are all countries that they come from, you will find that. If you get the feeling into it, you know where you laugh.Organisers expect a record 20,000 visitors each day over the 6-day event. The program runs 24 hours a day and there is plenty of indigenous content on the bill. Earlier this year, the local people won their native title claim for the lender which the festival is held.We are so excited to see the joy being d to see the joy being shared by the custodians. That relationship has got stronger and stronger.The line-up includes award winners and many others. But the festival is not just about the music. It has an artist in residence, along with from indigenous knowledge to the world food crisis.It gives an entirely new way of looking at Aboriginal people and culture. Most importantly, an entirely new way up being able to connect with aboriginal countryect with aboriginal country.The festival winds up on New Year's Day.

A small tent city pops up for the festival every year to house the estimated 120,000 music-lovers attending. From folk Festival still flying fish now. A shopping centre in Shanghai has been left red-faced after a t red-faced after a 33 tonne aquarium has housing Sharks, turtles and fish suddenly shattered. video shows the force of the water sweeping away staff and shoppers while dumping several lemon Sharks and fish on to the ground. More than 15 people suffered cuts and bruises. Police say they are investigating the cause of the collapse which comes two years after the aquarium was built. The top stories: Barack Obama will meet Republican leaders tomorrow in a last ditch bid to find to the looming fiscal crisis. With just four days remaining, a deal to avoid automatic tax rises and spending cuts is looking increasingly unlikely. The Norman Schwarzkopf, the US general who led coalition forces in the first goal for has died in Florida aged 78. The political dynasty is set to continue in Pakistan, with the son of the assassinated former minister entering political life. And Wild Oats XI has broken its own race record in the cab to Hobart yacht race. In addition to line honours, the Super maxi is also chance to take out handicap honours. That is the news for tonight, goodbye.Supertext captions by Red Bee Media - www.redbeemedia.com.au

In this edition of the Spin, we look at the year that was for the men of the sport.COMMENTATOR: And Australia is on fire.COMMENTATOR: He's the world champion. The early part of the year was defined by one rider, Simon Gerrans and the birth of the Orica-GreenEDGE team.Simon Gerrans takes a momument win. But 2012 would sees so many more memorable moments - national champions, world champions, and a flood of medals from the London Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Imagine a picture-perfect thatched That's one of the most beautiful
beaches I've ever seen.

Imagine a string of islands

packed with the most remarkable
wildlife in the British Isles. Imagine having the run
of those islands on land...

This is what the Outer Hebrides
is all about!

That's exactly what I'm doing
for the next six months.

in this stunning
chain of islands.

My new job give me contact not just
with amazing flora and fauna...

Look at that! Fantastic!

..but also with the people

in some of Britain's

it's high summer in Scotland and
behind me that's the town of Oban

On my bow, I've got a seven-hour

that's going to be my home
for the next six months.

The trip from my Bristol home
to my new base in North Uist

It's a continuation of a journey

when I spent six months way up the coast,
beyond the Isle of Skye.

One of the things I learned in

Especially coming from the city,

a frantic pace of life, they taught
me what community's all about.

Naturally, it wouldn't be half

Wouldn't dream of doing it
without him. We're a couple of fellas
off on a big adventure.

This is where we're going to live.

I've made my living as a marine
biologist and diver for 10 years,

so forgive me for getting

Imagine these islands
in sunlight, these waters flat calm

and crystal clear,
and these reefs just team with life.

TANNOY: 'The vessel will shortly be
arriving at Castlebay.'

This is a proper wild, rugged

As a marine biologist,

Will passengers disembarking

To my regret,
we're not getting off here.

We've been on the ferry four hours.

This is the southern tip
of the Outer Hebrides.