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(generated from captions) This program will be live captioned by Ai-Media openThis hour, cooler weather boosts firefighting efforts in Victoria and NSW but authorities warn it is no time to be complacent. Police investigate the shooting of a young man by one of their own in a small town south of Sydney. If you are asking me do I want to compete again, the answer is hell yes! I'm a competitor. Cyclist Lance Armstrong says that he does want to ride again in the second TV interview with Oprah. This is news now for Saturday, 19 January, I'm Chris Rowe. Also ahead this hour, tensions high and an ongoing operation to end the hostage crisis in Algeria continues with dozens of captives unaccounted for. In sport, Serena Williams serves up another powerful display to make it to the fourth round.

Dramatically improved weather conditions are helping fire crews in NSW and Victoria as they battle a string of fires across both States. Thousands of Victorians remain on alert with 11 bushfires burn being authorities focussing now on the town of Licola. The threat to communities in Victoria's east has eased but residents remain on alert. The Gippsland bushfires have claimed a life with the body of a man found in his burnt out car at Seaton yesterday. Several homes have been confirmed as lost at Seaton and Glenmaggie but authorities fear that number will rise. So we can confirm five homes lost and we do expect more but we don't have the exact number at the moment. 270 firefighters are battling the flames that have RAFFaged about 50,000 hectares of land. Attention remains on the tiny town of Licola that is isolated by the fires. We expect the fire will get there, it will be hard to stop it getting in there but the fires not raging at Licola at the moment but it is certainly on our radar and on our map to make sure we have got that protected. Victoria's Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews has received a briefing at the State control centre this morning. This fire is a very significant event, almost 50,000 hectares. There has been some five properties that have been damaged and very sadly, tragically, one person has lost their life and our thoughts are with the family. Meanwhile, the red cross has launched a system to help the people affected by the fire to get in touch with family and friends. Who might have left home in the Gippsland area, they can give us a call on 180 #0rks 727, 077 and we can try to recorrect them with family and friends. There has been a set back with firefighters today with Elvis the aircraft suffering a fault. It is grounded in a paddock. Another aircraft is on stand-by while 14 aircraft are already assisting in the firefighting effort. They are hoping to make the most of cooler conditions over the weekend to establish and consolidate containment lines. More hot weather is forecast next week with the mercury set to hit the high 30s again on Thursday. Ahron Young has travelled to the devastated area of Seaton and filed this report a short time ago. We are driving in to Seaton now. You can see that this whole area has just been devastated, almost a marchen like surface, so many of the houses around this area have been impacted or completely destroyed. We know up to 10 in total so far police have confirmed five they are continuing to look around here. We are just turning into Johnson Street right now as part of a convoy with the country fire authority and Johnson was the area where this man passed away tragically as he tried to flee these fires driving quite so hely through here and you can just see the devastation. All of the trees are burnt in one way or another, many not completely burnt though. You can see over here to the left this part of this house has been lost. Also part of the shed has been lost as well. Cars out the front, no doubt some of the residents returning to see what is left. But then just next-door, like we see with so many of these cases and bushfires, a house hasn't been touched at all. Livestock still alive on the property just over to to the right though, you can see the thick bushland where this fire has just completely roared through and this took everybody by surprise. Even the CFA. They had been predicting on the Thursday afternoon that the fire, which was about 4,000 hectares may grow to 8,000 in the worse possible case. But it seems that it went far bigger than that and even hit 50,000 hectares yesterday. This fire still isn't contained, it is going to take some time and will continue to burn, but for the residents of Seaton, they are wanting to get back and to find out exactly whether their property survived or not. Well, for the very latest on the easing weather conditions in NSW, Sky News Sydney reporter Cameron Price filed this report from the rural fire service headquarters. It is an easing bushfire situation in NSW. A record heat wave swept away by a change that arrived overnight bringing with it cooler conditions and some relief for firefighters battling blazes right across the State.Really, clearly these conditions now have eased to the point where there is no longer a threat to the properties, so we have downgrade ed the levels of the fires. There is still 142 fires burning and 29 of those are not contained. Overnight lightning strike sparked a number of new fires but the blazes burning at Bega Valley and Coonabarabran. There is a lot of strategies in place to contain those fires but it is going to take some days to get that working, so we are out of the wootds as far as containment but we are not expecting that to flair up and threat enproperties, unless something unpredicted happens. These cooler conditions present a small window for authorities. A few days to try to put in containment lines around the bushfires ahead of worsening conditions again next week. Clearly, we have to get on top of those fires quickly before we return to warmer weather next week. For Sydney residents, a warning for smoke around the city today, no cause for alarm they say, simply back-burning around the fire at Ku-ring-Gai Chase National Park. Now for an update on weather conditions right around the country today. What is the latest on those conditions, particularly the improving conditions across the south-east? Good afternoon. Yes, it is certainly looking a lot more favourable today. We had of course a record heat wave yesterday. Today the temperatures have plummeted more than 20 degrees in a number of locations. So we are back to the mid 20s for Sydney. But elsewhere across NSW, the sorls have really pushed through, they are dropping the temperatures basically across the entire State. It is still quite hot through the northern inland but it will cool down by the time we get to Sunday. The next big feature which is helping those fires is the humidity. Now, it is starting to rise gradually and it will continue to do so over the next 24 hours when you have more moisture available in the atmosphere, this can also help to slow down the fires. So these are the records we broke on Friday. Sydney hit 45.8 degrees. Sydney Airport, Penrith and Richmond both maxed out at over 46 but now, we are talking about temperatures right back to the mid 20s and even the chance of showers. Your Sunday forecast, Campbelltown is going for 26, Sydney going for a top of 25 degrees with showers. It's a similar picture with cooler temperatures basically across the entire State. But the storms are the next big feature. A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for heavy rainfall and it stretches from bourk down to Stone. So all of these lightning strikes and storms could deliver in heavy rainfall across fire affected areas. For the next four days, it is looking quite good, there is as much as 25-50mm on the cards across the northern table lands and the north-east corner of the State. Thanks for the update. Turning to other news now and an investigation is underway after a man was shot by police at Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands. According to police, the 21 yearly was being spoken to by several officers early this morning when he began threatening police and a senior constable opened fire. It is unclear whether the man was armed at the time. At this stage, I'm not able to rule in or out a firearm. It is clear that there were a number of threats made to the officers involved and the threats that were made, the details of those will be determined by the criminal investigation. The man suffered wounds to his chest and upper right arm and was air lifted to Sydney's Liverpool hospital where he is in a critical but stable condition. A Channel 10 cameraman has been taken to hospital after a helicopter crash at Basketville. A chopper which was carrying a male pilot and a cameraman made a hard landing while filming a truck roll over in the area. He was taken to Royal Perth Hospital with reports that he may have suffered spinal injuries. The pilot apparently escaped uninjured. An investigation will be held into the cause of the incident. Lance Armstrong says that he doesn't deserve a lifetime ban from competing in sport in part two of his interview with Oprah Winfrey, the disgraced cyclist became emotional when discussing the impact on his family and his foundation. Accused of being cold and insincere in part one of the interview, emotion when Lance Armstrong's 13-year-old son was raised. When this all really started, I saw my son defending me and saying "That's not true. What you are saying about my dad is not true". Yeah. That is when I knew I had to tell him. And he had never asked me. I said "Don't defend me any more". Of all of the punishments and penalties that have come along with the revelations, there was one other that hurts the most. The foundation is like my sixth child. To make that decision and to step aside was big. Many had speculated that Armstrong was only doing the interview to help overturn a lifetime ban that prevents him from competing in any events sanctioned by the world Anti-Doping Agency. On that point, he was clear. The answer is hell yes. I'm a competitor. That's what I've done my whole life. I love to train. I love to race. I love to toe the line. If I was - I don't expect it to happen. Would I like to run the Chicago Marathon when I'm 50? I would love to do that and I can't. I deserve to be punished. I'm not sure that I deserve a death penalty. A career of doping has cost him seven Tour de France titles, an olympic medal, friendships, respect, dignity and a whole lot of money. That was a $75 million day. That just went out of your life? Gone. Gone. And probably never coming back. I've lost - certainly lost all future income. Yet on the same day that his Tour de France titles had been taken away, this picture was tweeted from his official account. That was just more defiance. More defiance. Um, and you know what's scary is that I actually thought it was a good idea. Armstrong admits now that he is committed to therapy but with hundreds of lawsuits pending, lifetime bans aren't likely to be reversed, his future remains decidedly uncertain but his priority will be his five children. This conversation will live forever. Everything that we do today, with the yellow jerseys lives forever, so I have got to get that right for them. The algearian army is still trying to end the show down where hostages have been taken by terrorists with ties with al-Qaeda. Stories are starting to emerge from those that did get out alive. The assault tonight is a deadly mission, the gas plant has reportedly been ringed with explosives by the hostage takers, not to mention all of that gas. It is a dangerous mix. Images tonight on Arab TV of the carnage, numbers of fluent, one report saying 12 hostages have been killed and more than a dozen of the terrorists. Aside from the one American who was killed, a small number of other Americans believed to be at the facility are unaccounted for. But American officials are sending a strong message. Those who would wantedly attack our condition and our people will have no place to hide. Once militants stormed the complex, they smashed down the doors of the residential buildings in a hunt for Americans and other foreigners. Another witness described to the 'New York Times' terrorists shooting a European in the back while other hostages watched. He reportedly described to his family how he escaped. The kidnappers had him in a convoy of vehicles when the algearian army bombed them. His car was hit but in the chaos, he made a run for it, along with others. As much as I would like to be out, I thought of some of my colleagues who are still there at the moment. This is news now, here on Sky News. We will take another look at the top stories in just a moment and we will get the latest sport with Jim too as the Heat and the Scorchers deal with injuries ahead of the Big Bash final tonight. And the latest from the Aussie Open as everyone readyies for Bernard Tomic v Roger Federer.

P The top stories: the fire threat is significantly reduced in Victoria and NSW thanks to cooler weather. Fire crews have strengthened containment lines around major blazes but warn residents that the danger is not yet over. A 21-year-old man shot in Bowral remains in a critical but stable condition. Police launch an investigation into the shooting. And Lance Armstrong has told Oprah Winfrey that he doesn't deserve a lifetime ban from competitive sport in the second part of the television interview. And the forecast, showers and storms in the east. Heavy rain for the tropics. And it is time for all of the sport now with Jim and can anyone stop Serena Williams at the Aussie Open. First up to Dennis and Serena Williams has sent a big message the at the Australian Open after her serve broke the 200km hour barrier during today's third round. In other results, Victoria Azarenka had a scare against Jamie Hampton. While Williams was at her brutal best on centre court. So far in the tournament, Serena Williams was again in a destructive mood. In her match with Marita. She is edging up towards the 200 on the serve, that was 194 ks. The 200 k barrier smashed and she took the first set 6-1. 207! 207!Marita winning three games in the second before Williams finished off the job. That massive serve all anyone wanted to talk about. I tried to hit it really hard and I hit 207 the other day, but I thought it was luck. But I did it again, so I was like woo!Meanwhile, it was a shaky outing for Victoria Azarenka against American Jamie Hampton. Well, that is old Victoria Azarenka in all sorts of ways.Just spits the dummy after the point. That is all something we have not seen a lot of. Jamie Hampton struggled with a back complaint but she still managed to pull off a set against the world No.1. And there is the second set. But a string of unforced errors killed off any prospect of a boil over. Azarenka threw through to the last 16.

Australian captain Michael Clarke has once again been forced to defend the rotation policy after Australia's embarrassing defeat to Sri Lanka. The hosts were bowled out for just 74 at the Gabba as the tourists claimed a 2-1 series lead. He denies the returning players were under done. I can understand why people think that is the case. But as a player who only had five days of no cricket, that makes absolutely no different to my preparation. I was as well prepared for this game as I was for every Test throughout the summer. Game four will be played at the SCG tomorrow. There is good news and bad news for the Brisbane Heat ahead of tonight's big fash final against the Perth Scorchers. James Hopes is unlikely to take part. Four days after a grade one hamstring strain, that is going to be pushing it, I have given myself a 60-40 chance. Meantime, the Scorchers will need to replace Hershelle Gibbs who is battling a hamstring injury of his own. There is a triple header as round 17 of the A-League continues this evening. Sydney FC is at home to the Phoenix, the Mariners clash with the jets in the F3 derby and the Glory host the victory in the late kick off. Last night, the Melbourne Heart scored in the opening minutes of each half to secure a comfortable 2-nil win over Adelaide. Keen to get back in the winners circle, the Heart made a confident start. They were on the front foot straight off. And found the net just four minutes in. Fred's delivery is beautiful. And Tadic has three in three at AAMI Park. An early strike for the Melbourne Heart. Adelaide was working hard to hold the home side back. Returned fire to keep it competitive. That was a wonderful opportunity. Galekovic was earning his pay and it remained 1-nil at the break. But the Heart again came out firing and the second half started like the first. He has done brilliantly here. Garcia makes it 2-nil. Brilliant finish from the Socceroo but put it down to Thompson's work in the middle of the park. It was a blow for the injury prone Fred as he limped off with a quad strain but the Reds had few chances in the second half. John Aloisi's men holding on for a much needed win. We have been building and building all season, we are getting better so it is good to get back to winning ways. Last week we played probably our best foot work we have played this season and we didn't play it for 90 minutes, but tonight it was important that we kept a clean sheet and I was always confident that we would score some goals, so very happy with the performance. Chelsea manager has faith that Torrez will return to his best form. He has benched since the Blues signed Barba from Newcastle. We wanted to of two options and to rest Torrez who was playing so many games, that he couldn't be at his best level, so maybe short-term now we can say "Oh, you know, it is not good but long-term he will be much better because we will have both and if he plays, he will be rested and he will have more energy". So I think it will be good for the team and good for him. Meantime, Nigel Adkins has been sacked as Southampton manager. They are 15th on the ladder and come from behind, an impressive draw with Chelsea. James Magnusson has changed his approach to swimming in a bid to defend his Crown at the championships. He had his first outing of the year last night winning the 100 free at the aquatic super series dual with China and South Africa in Perth. He is turning it on for the Perth locals. James Magnusson will cruise his way to victory in the 1.00m freestyle. Roberts no surprise there, finished in second. I think I had to do a bit of soul searching after the Olympics and think about the way that I acted and sort of approached my swimming out of the pool as much as in it. I have taken on a mind coach and we have worked really hard on that side of things. I think tonight showed that we are on the right track. Ian Thorpe was also an interested on looker in the crowd while in other results, Chinese sensation continued her red hot form from the London Games. She beat Aussies in the 200m individual immediately. And Campbell got the better of Schlanger in the women's 100 freestyle. And the Sydney Kings finals campaign has hit a hurdle beat enby Melbourne in the NBL.

Johnnie Flin led the way with 27 points. But it was Chris Gilding who finished off with the points. Third placed Kingses have now lost two in a row. Of course we are all looking forward to this huge match up tonight, Bernard Tomic against Roger Federer, the master and the apprentice, can't wait. Tomic was talking it up before it even started. He doesn't lack confidence. Let's take a look at the weather now.

Thanks for your company here on news now, we will take another look at the top stories in a moment and we will bring you an update on the latest on the busher bushfires that do continue to burn in NSW an Victoria. Plus a look at the destruck shun left in the town of Seaton. Also the fight against terrorism in Mali and how it affects the rest of the world.

P This hour's top stories: firefighters are still battling large blazes in NSW and Victoria, although cooler conditions have now reduced the fire threat. A critical incident investigation is underway after a shooting by police officers of a man south of Sydney. And Lance Armstrong says that he still hopes to be able to compete in the second part of his confessional interview with Oprah Winfrey. And the forecast:

tram dramatically improved weather conditions are helping fire crews across NSW and Victoria as they battle a string of fires across both States. Thousands of Victorians are on alert with 11 bushfires still burning and authorities now focussing their attentions on the town of Licola. Loretta Johns has more. The threat to communities in Gippsland has eased but residents remain on alert with the bushfires expected to continue burning for some time to come. 270 firefighters are battling the flames that have already claimed the life. The body of a man was found in his burnt out car in Seaton yesterday. At least five homes have been confirmed as lost at Seaton and Glenmaggie but authorities expect that number will rise as they get into assess the damage. The bushfires have so far ravaged almost 50,000 hectares of land and attention is now turning to the town of Licola which is isolated by the fires. The fires not raging at Licola at the moment but it certainly is on our radar and on our map to make sure that we have go that protected. There has been a set back for the firefighting effort with Elvis, the air krain grounded with a mechanical fault. Another one is on standby. Firefighters are hoping to make the most of the cooler conditions over the weekend to consolidate containment lines. There is more hot weather forecast for next week set to hit the high 30s on Thursday. And Sky News reporter Ahron Young has travelled to the devastated area of Seaton and filed this report. This is Johnson Lane in Seaton. You can see behind me the devastation that the fires have brought over the past 48 hours. This completely took everybody by surprise. This house completely destroyed, the shed has been affected as well, but still standing. Yet over here, just 50m away, one of the houses has completely remained livestock still standing the other side of it has been burnt out in terms of the grassland and the paddocks. This fire moved through so quickly and really took everybody by surprise. On the other side of the road here, another house that has been affected, helicopters in the sky at the moment as fire authorities are right across this area still trying to put out a number of spot fires. At this point in time, the spot fires are what people and the fire authority start to really be concerned about because while the bushfire threat may have moved away from here, the spot fires can reigknit some of the grass, the trees were completely put on fire and then we understand that these areas could also suddenly be impacted once more. Walking down this street though, the disaster victim impact, police officers have been through here right across this morning and even yesterday ever since the discovery of a man's body deceased in a burnt out car. This was the street where it happened and police are still trying to work on the identification process. People in this area, some chose to stay, others chose to leave as the bushfire continued to move through this area overnight. They were woken up by text messages, some slept through the messages because it came through around 2 o'clock in the morning. The fire moved from around 4,000 hectares to 8,000 hectares, very quickly. That was the worse case scenario to the fire authorities back in the city had been planning for. It then went to 12,000 hectares quickly by yesterday #340r7bing, it is currently at over 50,000 hectares and the authorities are now continuing to map that throughout the day. They do have some good news at the moment and that is because we can't feel any of the strong winds that we had had yesterday. The southerlies have moved the fire back. On the other side here is a mountain ridge, back into the mountain where it is expected to stay now for the next few days and the big concern is what is going to happen on Thursday. That is when the northerlies continue and when it may push back. But right now, right across this area as we continued our trip from Heyfield we could see firefighters on the side of the road putting out fires in trees, some have been completely destroyed, underneath you can still see the embers are burning and will continue to do so for some days, possibly weeks as firefighters continue their battle against this blaze. For more on the easing fire conditions in NSW, Sky News reporter Cameron Price filed this report from the rural fire service. It is an easing bushfire situation in NSW. A record heat wave swept away by a change that arrived overnight, bringing with it cooler conditions and some relief for firefighters battling blazes right across the State. Really clearly these conditions now ease to the point where there is no longer a threat to properties, so we have downgraded the alert levels of those fires. There is still 142 fires burning though and 29 of those are not contained. Overnight, lightning strike sparked a number of new fires but the main cause for concern are the blazes burning at Coonabarabran and Bega where two homes and two sheds were destroyed yesterday. There is a lot of strategies in place to actually contain those fires. But it is going to take some days to get that working. So we are not out of the woods as far as containment but we are not expecting that to flair up and threaten properties unless something unpredicted happens. These cooler conditions present a small window for authorities. A few days to try to put in containment lines around the bushfires ahead of worsening conditions again next week. Clearly, we have to get on top of those fires quickly before we return to warmer weather next week. For Sydney residents, a warning for smoke around the city today. No cause for alarm they say. Simply back-burning around the fire at Ku-ring-Gai Chase National Park. For an update on weather conditions around the country today, Amy joins us now. What is the latest on these improving conditions? Good afternoon. Well, thankfully it is a whole lot cooler across NSW today. Those southerlies have flushed the heat further north. It is at least 20 degrees cooler for locations such as Canberra and Sydney. But it is also very hazy across the Sydney area. We had a bushfire burning yesterday in the Ku-ring-Gai Chase National Park and you can see all of the smoke clouds in the distance there on our cat taj point cam, this was also due to back purpose burning in the area. Temperatures will remain cool across much of the State over the next two days at least. The next good news is the humidity is really rising, relative humidity at Bega is now up to 60%, at Coonabarabran where we still have that large fire, relative humidity is now at 90% and for bad fire weather, it has to be down around 10% or less. So for Sydney, these are the records that we broke on Friday. Sydney itself hit a top of 45.8 degrees. Penrith maxed out at over 46. Compare that to what we are looking at for Sunday, we are back down to the mid 20s right around the Sydney basin. With the chance of showers, so it is looking like a favourable set-up for the fires in the area. Now, we do have storms across the north-east corner of the State. Generally the lightning would be concerning, it can trigger more fires, but these storms are actually delivering heavy rainfall as well which is helping to ease back the fire situation. We are talking about as much as 25-50mm. For the next four days, locations such as Coonabarabran right out to Armerdale are expecting a down pour. We will talk again soon. An investigation is underway after a man was shot by police at Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands. According to police, the 21-year-old was being spoken to by four officers early this morning when he began threatening police and a senior constable opened fire. It is unclear whether the man was armed at the time. At this stage, I'm not able to rule either out or in a firearm. It is clear that there were a number of threats made to the officers involved and the threats that were made, the details of those will be determined by the critical incident investigators. The man suffered wounds to his chest and upper right arm and was air lifted to Sydney's Liverpool hospital where he remains in a critical but stable condition. Lance Armstrong says that he doesn't deserve a lifetime ban from competing in sport. In part two of an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the disgraced cyclist also became emotional when discussing the impact of his family and on his foundation. Accused of being cold and insincere in part one of the interview, emotional when Lance Armstrong's 13-year-old son was raised. When this all really started, I saw my son defending me and saying "That's not true. What you are say being my dad is not true". Yeah. That is when I knew I had to tell him. And he had never asked me. I said "Don't defend me any more". Of all of the punishments and penalties that have come along with the revelations, there was one other that hurts the most. The foundation is like my sixth child. And to make that decision to step aside was - that was big. Many had speculated that Armstrong was only doing the interview to help overturn a lifetime ban that prevents him from competing in any event cantioned by the world Anti-Doping Agency. While denying that was the case, he was very clear about his future ambitions. The answer is hell yes. I'm a competitor. That is what I have done my whole life. I love to train. I love to race. I love to toe the line. If I was - and I don't expect it to happen. Frankly, this may not be the most popular answer, but I think I deserve it. I deserve to be punished. I'm not sure that I deserve a death penalty. A career of doping has cost him seven Tour de France titles, an olympic medal, friendships, respect, dignity and a whole lot of money. That was a $75 million day. It just went out of your life. Gone. Gone. Gone. And probably never coming back. I've lost - certainly lost all future income. Yet on the same day that his Tour de France titles had been taken away, this picture was tweeted from his official account. That was just more defiance. More defiance. And you know what's scary is I actually thought it was a good idea. Armstrong admits now that he is committed to therapy. But with hundreds of lawsuits pending, lifetime bans aren't likely to be reversed. His future remains decidedly uncertain. But his priority will be his five children. This conversation will live forever. Everything that we do today, tweet with the yellow jerseys lives forever. So I've got to get that right for them. A Channel 10 cameraman has been taken to hospital after a helicopter crash at Basketville. A helicopter that was carrying a pilot and cameraman made a hard landing while filming a truck roll over in the area. He has been taken to Royal Perth Hospital with reports that he may have suffered spinal injuries. The pilot escaped uninjured. An investigation will be held to try to determine the cause of the accident. Western Governments have expressed concern that Algeria launched a mission to rescue hostages without telling them. Around 30 gas workers are still unaccounted for after the operation. But the British Prime Minister David Cameron has conceded that Algeria faced a significant threat from neighbouring terrorists, including those in Mali. Yet more French troops have arrived in Mali to bolster an operation they have seriously underestimated. The French believe the hostage incident across-the-boarder in Algeria has only underlined the importance of the mission here. Algeria's relationship with her west African neighbours may well explain why their troops attacked before consulting any of the Governments whose nationals were at risk. The State news agency reported Government ministers saying that the operation had been a success with hundreds of Algerian hostages freed and many of the militants killed. A number of the militants involved in the siege were based in Mali. They train and plot their attacks from Mali. And they have recruited merson heirries that have once fought for Colonel Gaddafi. Also operating out of Mali is the mastermind of the hostage plot. We spoke on the telephone to a close friend of his who leads one of the other armed terror groups in Mali. He had this message for the British Government and the other western countries supporting the French offensive. TRANSLATION: I have a message for the British Government. France has entered into a war without limit. They have internationalised the conflict. British hostages were taken too. If Britain gets involved, we will hit London. All western citizens are a target. The conflict playing out in Mali is about much more than the west African countries stability. It is direct involved the Algerians now and the hostage crisis has affected several western nations. The French believe crushing the mill tancy in Mali is the key to worldwide security, from multiple groups operating in Mali under the al-Qaeda banner. This is news now here on Sky News. The top stories are coming up in just a moment, plus all of the latest sport with Jim as the top seed is forced to work hard to get through to the fourth round in Melbourne. And Australia on the back foot after an embarrassing loss in the third one-dayer.

P The top stories: the fire threat has reduced in Victoria and NSW today thanks to cooler weather. A 21-year-old man schot by police in Bowral in NSW remains in a critical but stable condition. And Lance Armstrong has told Oprah Winfrey that he doesn't deserve a lifetime ban from competitive sport. The forecast:

more now on the bushfire situation in Victoria. The red cross has launched the national inquiry system to help people to get in touch with family and friends who have been affected by the Gippsland fires. Red cross State manager, Emergency Services Adam Dent says that 400 people have registered so far. The red cross national inquiry centre is now open and that allows people to give us a call to inquire about family and friends who might have left home in the Gippsland area. So they can give us a call on 1800727077. And we can try and reconnect them with family and friends they might have lost contact with. Similarly, people who have left the area, we strongly encourage them to register so we can reconnect them with family and friends but also so that information can be used to help Emergency Services understand where people are at right now. REPORTER: Do you know roughly how many people have registered already? 400 people have in the Gippsland area and a number of inquiries are starting to come through from a number of people in that area. REPORTER: How important is a service like this, I imagine people must be fairly concerned when they can't get in touch with loved ones? It doesn't just impact the people who are affected. We know for every person who is affected, there are probably six or seven people who are worried or concerned about them. So this service helps to provide some comfort for family and friends in particular. Time for all of the sport now with Jim and a very big night ahead at the Aussie Open. A big night for Bernard Tomic up against Roger Federer. Already been a big day though. Thanks for that. Let's look at the tennis. Serena Williams, she sent a big message at the Aussie Open after her serve broke the 200 km an hour mark during today's third round. In other results, Victoria Azarenka had a scare against Jamie Hampton. While Williams was at her brutal best on centre court. Devastating so far in the tournament, Serena Williams was again in a destructive mood. In her match with Ayumi Morita. She is edging up towards the 2 be00 on the serve. That was at 194 ks. The 200 k barrier smashed as she took the first set 6-1. 207. 207!Morita winning three games in the second before Williams finished off the job. That massive serve all anyone wanted to talk about. I tried to hit it really hard. And I hit 207 the other day but I thought it was luck. But I did it again. So I was like woo!She will now meet Maria Kirilenko who almost never made it on court against Yanina Wickmayer. The Russian was threatened with disqualification for wearing a visa that featured a fashion labels logo. Meanwhile, it was a shaky outing for Victoria Azarenka against American Jamie Hampton. Well, that is old Victoria Azarenka in all sorts of ways. Just spits the dummy after the point. It is all something we have not seen a lot of. Jamie Hampton struggled with a back complaint but she still managed to pull off a set against the world No.1. And there is the second set. But a string of unforced errors killed off any prospect of a boil over. Azarenka through to the last 16.

To cricket and captain Michael Clarke has once again been forced to defend the rotation policy after Australia's embarrassing defeat to Sri Lanka. The hosts were bowled out for just 74 at the Gabba as the tourists claimed a 2-1 series lead. Clarke denying the returning players were underdone. I can understand why people think that is the case. But as a player who only had five days of no cricket, it makes absolutely no difference to my preparation. I was as well prepared for this game as I was for every Test throughout the summer. Game four will be played at the SCG tomorrow. Still on cricket, and the Perth Scorchers are preparing for tonight's Big Bash final without the big hitting Hershelle Gibbs. The star opener has a hamstring injury but skipper Simon Katich is trying to look on the bright side. It is like anything, an opportunity for someone, it might be someone already within the team that does it. So it is something we have to weigh up and see what's best for the team. Mixed news for the Heat with paceman Ben Cutting cleared to play while James Hopes is unlikely to take part. There is a trip erl header as round 17 of the A-League continues this evening. Sydney FC they are at home to the Phoenix. The Mariners clash with the jets in the F3 derby while the Glory will host the Victory in the late kick off match. Last night the Melbourne Heart scored in the opening minutes of each half to secure a comfortable 2-nil win over Adelaide. Keen to get back in the winners circle, the Heart made a confident start against the second placed Reds. They were on the front foot straight off. And found the net just four minutes in. Tadic has three in three at AAMI Park. An early strike for the Melbourne Heart. Adelaide was working hard to hold the home side back. They returned fire to keep it competitive. That was a wonderful opportunity. Galekovic was earning his pay and it remained 1-nil at the break. But the Heart again came out firing. And the second half started like the first. He has done brilliantly here, Garcia makes it 2-nil. Brilliant finish from the Socceroo but put it down to Thompson's work in the middle of the park. It was a blow for the injury prone Fred as he limped off with a quad strain. But the Reds had few chances in the second half. John Aloisi's men holding on for a much needed win. We have been building and building all season. We are getting better so it is good today get back to winning ways. Last week we played probably our best football we have played this season and we didn't play it for 90 minutes. But tonight, it was important that we kept the clean sheet and I was always confident that we would score some goals. So very happy with the performance. Chelsea manager has faith that Torrez will return to his best form. He has been benched since the Blues signed Barba from Newcastle. We signed him because we wanted to have two options and to rest Torrez who was playing so many games, maybe he couldn't be at his best level. So maybe short-term now we can say "Oh, you know, he is not good but long-term it will be much better" because we will have both and if he plays, he will be rested and he will have more energy. So I think it would be good for the team and good for him. Meanwhile, Nigel Adkins has been sacked as Southampton manager, the Saints are 15th on the ladder and are coming off an impressive come from behind draw with Chelsea.

And James Magnusson has changed his mental approach to swimming in a bid to defend his 100m freestyle Crown at this year's world championships. He had his first outing of the year last night winning the 100 free at the aquatic super series dual with China and South Africa in Perth. He is turning it on for the Perth locals. James Magnusson will cruise his way to victory in the 100m free style. No surprise there, Roberts finished in second. I had to do a bit of soul searching after the Olympics and think about the way that I acted and sort of approached my swimming out of the pool as much as in it. I have taken on a mind coach and we have worked really hard on that side of things and I think tonight showed that we are on the right track. Ian Thorpe was also an interested on looker in the crowd. While in other results, Chinese sensation continued her red hot form from the London Games. She beat Aussies in the 200m individual immediately. And Kate Campbell got the better in the women's 100m freestyle. Of course we saw James Magnusson supporting Bernard Tomic not so long ago as well. Great to see two young guys turning things around after what was probably a bit of a let down in 2012. Let's hope Bernard Tomic doesn't get the opportunity to watch the swimming. Hopefully he will be busy in Melbourne for the next two days at least. Let's take a look at the weather now. Sky National News is coming up with the top stories of the day in just a moment, including a cameraman in hospital after a helicopter crash. Live Captioning by Ai-Media www.ai-media.tv