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(generated from captions) This Program is Captioned Live.Tonight - a union power broker lashes out at MPs he says are secretly undermining the PM.

Japan suspends whaling after more clashes with environmentalists in the Southern Ocean. More than 50 Southern years on, veterans of nuclear tests in the Australian outback fight for justice.And later on 'Grandstand', Australia's World Cup-winning women's cricket team now sets their sights on the Ashes. Live across Australia, this is ABC News 24, hello, I'm Nick Grimm. When Labor MPs were starting to calm down from this week's jolt in the polls, Julia Gillard's chief defender has taken a public swipe at her critics. The Australian Workers Union leader, Paul Howes, used his closing address at a week-long conference to accuse those undermining the PM of being gutless and he didn't hold back as political correspondent Greg Jennett reports.With poison pen and acid tongue, Paul Howes has spent all week marshalling his 10,000 member force.

And giving close personal protection to the PM.Thank you for being here PM. Thank you for your houn your. We have your back.But Australia's most visible faceless man has had it with Labor's nameless voices.Senior Labor sources undermining our PM, undermining the leadership of our movement and this country. What a bunch of gutless pricks they are that they can't put their names to what they are saying. APPLAUSE He single handedly magnified an issue Julia Gillard had worked four days to contain.PM, you have members of your party backgrounding the media on matters such as this. You wouldn't be happy with that would you? I don't get distracted by any of this. We had a ballot last February and resolved the issue. Kevin Rudd's ticking off a list of up to 30 invitations to campaign for Labor MPs.Mr Rudd you rock.And offering reassurance to his leader.I support the PM going through to the next election. All other members of the Caucus support the PM going through to the election. The issue of a draft doesn't arise.Julia Gillard's waging open battle on another front against Liberal premiers who took her on over health funding. It is a replay of the old hospital spending blame game.The Commonwealth's intervened to direct $100 million to Victorian hospitals, settling a row for now but only encouraging other states which claim they are being short-changed too.The cumulative affect of this in NSW over a four-year period would be $1.87 billion.The Feds have owned up that essentially they had cut the money. What they're now doing is even more outrageous, it is just a sad sick joke.The PM's warning she will intervene again if funding deals aren't honoured. Some of Australia's biggest companies are embarking on a heavy round of job cuts. Plans to shed more than 1,000 positions have been announced in one day, most of them from a subsidiary of Telstra. The Government says the losses are disappointing at a time when it is pushing hard to preserve jobs. Melissa Clarke reports.From ship yard to warehouse and factories around the country, one word sums up the Government's number one priority.It is about jobs, good quality jobs, high paid jobs, high skilled jobs for the future.This is part of the Commonwealth Government, the Gillard Labor government's ongoing commitment to jobs, Australian jobs.Jobs are now an immediate concern for hundreds of workers at Telstra's directory business.Sensis is slashing more than 600 jobs, two-thirds of its Victorian work force.When we see figures like this, obviously it does cause a great deal of concern.This announcement is a slap in the face to those people who have worked hard to make this confident profitable and are now seeing that repaid by having their job sent overseas.The company is promising to try to find staff other jobs but won't rule out further cuts.The digital environment is changing very quickly, so I could never guarantee the future of any role to staff.The job shedding didn't end there. Perth-based miner Iluka Resources is axing 200 positions citing a fall in commodity prices.On balance, I am bullish about the resources sector.Origin Energy is cutting again. They are announcing plans to lose 350 positions by years end, on top of the 500 already flagged.We will certainly be working through our employment services and the like to support people during this difficult time in their lives.The unemployment rate is currently 5.4%, many economists are predicting it will continue to rise over and above treasury's forecast towards 6%. With both Labor and the Coalition saying jobs are central to their policies, it is clear it will also be central to their electoral fortunes come September.The Japanese whaling fleet has temporarily suspended its annual hunt in the Southern Ocean after a dramatic clash with 'Sea Shepherd' vessels. No-one was injured but the incident has put more pressure on Australia to try and keep peace in the Antarctic. Here's Sarah Clarke. It was the Japanese coast guard on board the 'Nisshin Maru' who issued the warning.I warn you stop your destructive action immediately.But 'Sea Shepherd'
says it

says it was the one who was hit.They moved in and struck the 'Steve Irwin' twice and then they actually hit their own tanker four times, crushing their life boat and causing quite a bit of damage.No-one was injured but who rammed who is now being pursued.There is claims and counterclaims and the particular time safety authority's going through the investigation - maritime.The Japanese fleet has temporarily suspended its whale hunt while it attempts to refuel. That is a reprieve for the 'Sea Shepherd' but the Federal Government is not jumping for joy just yet.As long as it is the Japanese's Government's intontion come back again, I don't think there is very much to celebrate.The Opposition has vowed to take one extra step.We will dispatch a customs vessel if there is any attempt to whale in the Southern Ocean.We are calling for a vessel to be dispatched to restore law and order.What we are with being asked to consider and do would put Australian personnel at risk.Instead the Commonwealth is pinning its hopes on taking Japan to the international court of justice.What is clear is it is the 'Sea Shepherd''s pursuit in the Southern Ocean which is having the most immediate results. Japan's annual quota under its scientific whaling program is 935 minks and 50 fin whales but since 2005, the catch has fallen to a record low of 172.The catch may be shrinking but it is a feud that is not expected to be resolved any time soon. South African police have admitted that the leader investigator in the Oscar Pistorius murder case is himself facing attempted murder charges. Pistorius has arrived in Pretoria Magistrates Court for day three of his bail hearing over the shooting death of Reeva Steenkamp in his luxury home last week. Local media is reporting that investigating officer Hilton Botha, who is the prosecution's lead witness in the case, is facing charges over an alleged drunken incident in which he and two other officers opened fire on a minibus in fire on South Africa's eyewitness news is reporting the officers involved were arrested in 2011 over the shooting. For his part, Botha is due to appear in court in May. In Jakarta, a 19-year-old Afghan man has been sentence today six years in prison over an asylum seeker booed tragedy. Police say Dawood Amiri, or Irfan as he's also known, admitted to helping organise the trip. The boat sank in June north of Christmas Island killing 90 men, women and children. They say he's also confessed to being involved in organising three other trips. In delivering their verdict, the judges also revealed that Irfan had four contacts based in Australia. They also named the head of the syndicate he worked for in Jakarta. Homicide detectives in Sydney are investigating the discovery of two bodies found separately in the city's west this morning. Factory workers at St Marys found the body of one of their co-workers when they started their shift. The 65-year-old man is believed to have been stabbed and had injuries to his shoulder and neck. Police believe he knew his attacker and say the murder could be linked to the factory.We are currently speaking to a number of employees of the factory and a number of other people in the local area and we are following up a number of leads.A man's body was also found with numerous injuries at an oval at Fairfield early this morning. Police are treating that death as suspicious. A police officer has admitted he got it wrong when he told a court that an Aboriginal man assaulted a fellow officer. The NSW police integrity commission is investigating why police hit and dragged the man they arrested and then charged him with assault. The officer also confessed to copping word for word his colleague's statement about what had happened - copying.Constable Luke Mewing was there the night Corey Barker was arrested. He's seen here kneeing the young Aboriginal man while he is on the ground. He says he's never seen anyone treated like that before. Just why police acted as they did is the subject of a as Police Integrity Commission inquiry. The way he was removed from the ground to the cells was brutal. It looks that way.The constable was one of five officers who took Corey Barker to the back cells of Ballina police station. David Hill was another. He was the senior constable who police originally claimed was hit by Corey Barker. The assault charge was later thrown out of court. Both officers, Mewing and Hill gave identical statements about the alleged assault, right down to the punctuation. Mewing admits he copied the statement from Hill which he said wasn't unusual and was done to refresh officers' memories.

Constable Mewing says he'd made a mistake when he claimed Corey Barker assaulted a fellow officer but that he thought that is what had happened at the time. He told the commission it didn't cross his mind that Corey Barker might go to jail if convicted.The inquiry resumes on Monday with the remaining police officers to give evidence. A former NSW gynaecologist who mutilated the genitals of a patient will spend at least another 18 months in prison. Graeme Reeves was due to be released in May but the Court of Criminal Appeal today found his minimum two-year sentence was inadequate. His victim says the impact on her life has been profound and the longer sentence is of little comfort.Hsieh Su-Wei says she
enjoyed a close intimate relationship with her late French husband.What he did, it took all of that away and it haunts me.Graeme Reeves removed all of her external genitalia, it was grossly excessive surgery in response to a small precancerous lesion. A jury found Reeves guilty of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.If a doctor has gone to a good school, is depressed and thinks he's doing the write thing, he could do whatever he bloody well likes to a woman. I disagree entirely.The Court of Criminal Appeal found the judge gave excessive weight to the... Graeme Reeves was also sentenced for indecently assaulting two other patients but one of these convictions has now been overturned. Earlier complaints had seen Reeves banned from obstetrics, something he hid from his employers on the south coast. His sentence for this fraud has also risen.I am pleased his sentence has been increased. Not by much but little and that is better than nothing.Police who gathered the evidence to prosecute Graeme Reeves say it was a complex and difficult task, only made easier by victims who were prepared to speak up.To talk to us and total strangers about their trauma and what happened to them and I think I can only trauma commend them for what they have done.Police say their investigation into Graeme Reeves isn't over. It took a 15 kill ton nuclear war head to December mate Hiroshima but a group of Australian soldiers witnessed a nuclear bomb nearly twice that power at Maralinga. The veterans of the British nuclear tests in the Australian outback have exhausted all legal avenues for compensation. Today, they took their case to the Australian Human Rights Commission.With just their uniforms to protect them, these military men were witness to British nuclear testing in Australia.I was in the army and I did what I was told.The veterans were effectively used as guinea pigs. They were sent in after nuclear testing took place and then tested afterwards to see how it would affect their bodies .For decades, veterans have sought compensation for the fall-out from their exposure to nuclear testing that took place from 1952-63. It has been resisted every step of the way.In a last ditch effort for justice, they are appealing to the Human Rights Commission, arguing the Federal Government breached their human rights by exposing them to radiation.Raymond Phillipson went into ground zero three times. He had a radiation hot spot on his leg that took hours to flush away.I had 17 showers before it and the Geiger counter kept going off and it was like ping, ping, ping.He was one of 8,000 Australians exposed to the nuclear testing in Maralinga, Emu Field and the Montebello Islands.The majority of them have unfortunately passed away and sadly passed away in their 50s due to cancer-related illnesses, all linked to radiation exposure. There is only 2,000 left.Mr Phillipson now has cancer too. He knows he's living on borrowed time.His last wish is for the Government to acknowledge what the nuclear veterans went through and guarantee they will be covered for all medical expenses.Many aren't because the testing was not considered active duty.Even if it is an act of grace payment, there should have been something to cover us for what we went through in Maralinga.Any Commission
decision by the Human Rights Commission won't be binding, veterans say they can only hope it might embarrass the Government into action.

Relatives have buried the 89 victims of a bomb attack in Pakistan amid growing sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shiite communities. The funerals were delayed for days to protest against the lack of protection the Government has provided in the city of Quetta where the bombing took place at the weekend. The Sunni militant group claimed responsibility for the attack on a Shiite district of the city. The attack prompted days of protest and there was more unrest as the funerals were held. Police have pledged to catch those responsible for the bombing and have arrested 170 suspects. Qantas is back in the black but the national carrier still sees challenges ahead. Alan Joyce says he is cautious about the future as the airline's key domestic businesses face head winds. The Qantas chief says his airline is on the way up.We have just started realising the benefits of the changes we have made.After bitter industrial disputes, cost-cutting and the dumping of unprofitable routes, losses in the international business are narrowing. It helped Qantas more than double its half year profit but so did more than $150 million in one-off payments, including a compensation pay-out from Boeing for cancelled orders for its new 787 dreamliner. Now Alan Joyce is looking to his new alliance were with Middle East carrier Emirates starting next month.To give you a sense of the appeal of the Qantas Emirates partnership, in our second week of selling we sold more than five times what we achieved with the previous partner British airways in the equivalent week last year.But Qantas' core domestic business bruised by its battle was Virgin and Tiger saw profits fall.That is associated with Tiger coming back in and also having for seats in the market.Even low cost carrier Jetstar's earnings fell due to the costs of his aggressive Asian expansion and tougher domestic conditions.The strong dollar is increasing outbound leisure travel to places like Phuket and Bali and Fiji at the expense of domestic travel.And it won't get any easier.We can expect ongoing vigorous challenges from our domestic and international competitors. It remains complex and volatile.Has had ever been any different for Qantas? To finance now and the local share market fell heavily with banks and miners all getting sold off. The Australian dollar fell as well as Alan Kohler reports.

The biggest falls are amongst the energy stocks, Santos and then the miners and banks. On tonight's chart, the heading could ease been the curse of 5,000 strikes again. Every time the All Ordinaries gets to 5,000 over the past few years it falls back down again. It is also unsurprising. Everyone has been wondering when the rally would end. It looks like the answer is today. There is a fair chance that today is the start of a chunky correction. Quite a few profits were out today. Many were down. You have already heard about Qantas which resulted in its shares being one of the very few to go up today. Fairfax Media's

This tells you here that our market wasn't alone in going into reverse today although it did fall more than any other market apart from Shanghai. Commodities were also sold off last night especially precious ma tals and oil. Gold's 12% decline since early October seems surprising, unlike today's share market correction. Conventional wisdom is it went up to $1800 an ounce because of all the money printing and that hasn't stopped. It went up mainly because of hoarding in India and China and that demand has come off. - metals.

Australia is a world leader in beef production but some in the industry fear for their future. They say many graziers are struggling with the average farm debt blowing out after 20 years of rising costs and stagnant prices. They are sceptical about the Government's plans to boost production to meet the rising demand from Asia. Annie Guest reports from Roma in southern QLD.Here are Australia's $7 billion cattle industry looks healthy.They are very good cattle as a rule through the yarding. We have excellent and well bred cattle through the yard.However, profits are slim.The costs have gone through the roof, particularly fuel, wages, we're now completing with the mining industries around us for wages.Better seasons have helped, however...A lot of the people on the land are doing other jobs.Despite the challenges facing cattle farmers, Australia's biggest sale yards here at Roma are busy. They sell 370,000 head a year with the beef destined for domestic and foreign markets, including Japan and Korea. The Government wants to increase production in the hope of becoming Asia's food bowl. But with prices here steady for two decades, cattle farmers are sceptical.Australia is already the world's second largest beef exporter and it is feared more cattle would harm the land.I don't believe Australia's capable of increasing production, given our climate.The Cattle Council
says better genetics and breeding technology are needed.The Federal and State Governments need to invest money in R and D which is going to be absolutely essential to increase the capacity of industry.But Keith Chandler says industry leaders and the Government fail at the basics.I don't think they are marketing in the right areas and pushing the grass-fed beef enough. I think we have to promote that as a specialty and really push it to the Asian countries.He believes better beef prices would follow.It is barely a month since the NSW mid-north coast was hit by serious flooding, now residents are being warned to brace themselves for more. It is already raining there and that is expected to become heavier tonight and tomorrow morning. The SES is predicting the worst flooding Coffs Harbour has seen in three years. Our reporter is Lucy McNally joins us now from Lucy Coffs Harbour.Good evening Lucy.Can you just let us know what is the weather doing there at the moment? Is there rain? It is not raining right now. It has been raining on and off all day today and residents are being told to prepare for flooding. With the really heavy rain expected to hit around 8 o'clock tomorrow morning. Residents have used today as a day of preparation, they have been dropping by the SES headquarters at Coffs Harbour to pick up sand bags but naturally they're feeling weary about the whole situation given it is just a few weeks since the last floods. We spoke to one woman who lives along a creek and will be among many who will be watching the rising waters tonight. Here is some of what she had to say.It will break its banks from over here. Once it breaks its banks there is nothing we can do because we can't get out of the street.One of the residents there of soggy Coffs Harbour. What can we expect over the next few days? The weather bureau has predicted around 300 mm of rainfall to hit Coffs Harbour in the next 48 hours. The reason that is of concern is because the ground is already saturated from last month's floods. We took a drive around Coffs Harbour this afternoon and some of the creek levels don't look too bad but the SES says that can change very quickly, especially given that Coffs Harbour is prone to flash-flooding. That is the situation here. It is a wait and see game. Once again, the weather has become the talk of the town for many parts of the mid-north and north coast.Lucy McNally in Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast.

There has been some severe storms in Victoria and southern parts of NSW this afternoon. Warnings were issued for those systems and there was a band of cells over SA but no danger there. The main weather focus is on the northern NSW coast. We have the offshore low, it is about 300km east of the coast and it is moving slowly to the south-west and expected to cross the coast tomorrow morning along the border or just south of the border into NSW. Warnings have been issued for destructive winds, damaging winds, also heavy rainfall and damaging surf. We have a flood watch which extends from the QLD border right down to watch Hunter Valley area. You can see the monsoon trough is also developing, a lot of activity here. It is coming closer to the continent and a couple of cyclones are expected to cyclones develop by the end of the weekend. These fronts to the south have triggered the afternoon storm activity and this system here is bringing a much cooler change to the south-west corner of WA. Today, Perth had a top of 40.5...

The cyclone will continue to brew up in the north-west and you can see there is another one further west and the cooler change will start to make its way east.

The top stories from ABC News - a key supporter of the PM has lashed out at Labor MPs who give anonymous interviews to undermine her. The head of the AWU, Paul Howes, has told hundreds of delegates at the union's national conference that anyone who does so is gutless. Julia Gillard has already told Caucus members to stop backgrounding journalists with negative comments about her Government. The lead detective investigating the murder charges against Oscar Pistorius has been dropped from the case. South African police have admitted that officer Hilton Botha is himself facing attempted murder charges. The detective is facing the charges over an alleged drunken incident in which he and two other officers opened fire on a minibus carrying 7 people in 2009. Botha is due to appear in court himself in May. Australian maritime authorities will investigate the latest clash between activists and Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean. The 'Sea Shepherd' group is continuing to demand Federal Government action after the 'Nisshin Maru' collided with two protest boats. Japan's fleet has suspended activity while it attempts to refuel. Environmentalists want the Government to send the Navy to intervene. After exhausting all legal avenues for compensation, Australian veterans of British nuclear tests at Maralinga are taking their case to the Human Rights Commission. Survivors who took part in the tests in the 1950s and 60s were exposed to radiation and have suffered the affects. It is a last ditch effort after previous court bids for compensation were rejected. Now it is time for all the day's sports news with Peter Wilkins. Tonight - Australia's World Cup-winning women's cricket team returns home. The Southern Stars have now set their sights on defending the Ashes.An opportunity to defend them over in England would be special, particularly around the same time that the men are over there.Also tonight - there.Also Alessandro Del Piero signs on for a second A-League season. I'm Peter Wilkins and this is Grandstand.

Grandstand. This Program is Captioned Live.

Live. Welcome to the program. Later we will talk to 4-time world surfing champion Mark Richards who was last night named Australian surfing's most influential figure over the last 50 years.First tonight - Australia's World Cup-winning women's cricket team has set its sights on defending the Ashes in England in August. The Southern Stars returned from India this morning and have vowed to continue their run of success. Duncan Huntsdale report. On top of the world in Twenty20 and now one-day cricket, the Southern Stars soaked up their sixth World Cup triumph.We have had a really good trip and the girls played really well.They are already thinking about the Ashes.An opportunity to defend them in England will be really special.Having unearthed exciting prospects in India like 17-year-old Holly Ferling.I am loving every second of it.Australia is confident of continuing its dominance in the short forms of the game.We have a young team and it will be great if they can be around for the next World Cup in England in four years time.Michael Clarke's putting a positive spin on having only one specialist spinner in his team for the first Test against India in Chennai.Our team is different to India. We feel it is the best XI to help us have success in these conditions.The tourists aren't without tweakers, with the pitch expected to assist the turning ball.Nathan Lyon as the front line spin bowler and then a couple of part-timers in Dave Warner and myself.Clarke confirmed Shane Watson will bat at No.4. Mick Malthouse is yet to formally sit in the coaches box for Carlton but the minds games have already begun from the veteran coach. He's set tongues wagging over the identity of the next Blues captain today and kicked along a good-natured war of words with GWS coach Kevin Sheedy.