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Hello. I'm James McHale. Thanks for joining me for this national edition of ABC News. Today - life sentence for Roger Dean.

This Program is Captioned Live. The nurse who set fire to a Sydney aged care home killing 11 helpless residents put away for life.He stole away family. He stole away memories. Our memories aren't of a sweet lady who passed away of natural causes. Smoking ruin - the Government to dramatically raise the price of cigarettes. Former NSW minister Eddie Obeid denies any wrongdoing in the wake of a damning corruption inquiry. A high-tech facility in North Queensland brings the ocean to the scientist.

There were tears and applause in court as Roger Dean the nurse who set fire to an aged care home in Sydney killing 11 people was sentenced to life in prison. The 37-year-old lit the fire to try to hide the theft of pain-killers. Jamelle Wells was in court. In sentencing Roger Dean to life in jail for his crimes, Justice Megan Latham said the crimes were atrocious and she spoke about the fear and terror his victims must have felt as they lay in their beds. The court heard the victims were aged through their 70s to 90s and they were in the high dependence y section of the Quakers Hill nursing home when he deliberately lit two fires in 2011. The court heard Roger Dean tried to hide stealing drugs. Roger Dean pleaded guilty to 11 counts of murder and another 8 of bodily
recklessly causing grievous bodily harm. He showed no e emotion today. He sat with his back to the public gallery. He stared ahead. The public gallery was packed with over 100 relatives of some of his victims. At times they were crying and hugging each other, some wearing photos of their loved ones pinned to jackets. At the end when the sentence was handed down, they broke out into a round of applause.The life sentence I am so grateful for. It makes me better his life has been taken away from him just like the 19 people he took from us.We know he cannot come out and do that kind of thing ever again and to commit crime in the community. It was a great relief to us to hear "Life".I suppose it is only fitting now he has a life sentence so that he knows how we feel because it is a life sentence and it doesn't matter how old they were, they still loved us and we loved them. Banks could be facing a new levy as part of the government's pre-election economic statement expected tomorrow. Labor is considering a deposit levy to act as insurance against future collapses while propping up the Budget. Smokers are also bearing the brunt of a major tax hike. Tobacco excise will be raised by 60% over the next four years. Here is political reporter Narda Gilmore. Election-eve savings that could cost the smokers' vote.This I know won't be universally popular with all. It is a difficult decision but a decision which is taken in the best interests of the nation.And the Budget bottom line. Starting on 1 December, tobacco excise will rise by 12.5% each year for the next four years, adding more than $5 to a packet of 20 cigarettes by 2016. It will rake in $5.3 billion over the forward estimates.This is a decision which makes a contribution to returning the Budget to surplus in 2016-17.Healthier finances and, he says, a healthier nation.Last time there was an increase in the tobacco excise, it led to a reduction in smoking of 11%.Anti-smoking advocates are expecting a big impact this time too.We predict that over the next four years, something like 220,000 people will quit smoking and about 40,000 young people won't take it up as a result of the price.But the Opposition's not convinced.This is just another tax . The Government is promoting this as some kind of health measure. Wrong. It is a revenue measure.Joe Hockey says the Government's fixing its Budget crisis by jacking up could
smokers' cost of living.They could be pensioners, low-income people. Smokes and beers might be the thing that is important to them.The Government is expected to release its pre-election economic statement tomorrow. The excise hike will be one of the biggest revenue measures but there is more to come. One option the Government's believed to be looking at is a bank deposit levy. It has been recommended to help fund any future bail-outs.The IMF and RBA have put a view to the Government about the need for a fund to cover deposit protection and the Treasurer has made clear he is consulting on that.But he says suggestions of any announcement are purely speculation.

That speculation is having a big impact on Australian bank stocks today. Finance reporter Simon Palan joins me now. The banks are not terribly happy about this proposal? That's right, James. The Treasurer Chris Bowen has met with the Australian Banning king Association this afternoon to consult with the reported levy. It is reported it is designed to underraise funds for any banks should it be needed in the future. The levy has been corrected to 0.1%. Banking stocks still close but CBA ended down, ANZ and NAB were down sharply as well. Westpac ended flat. The broader All Ordinaries Index gained 11 points to 5,047.There are warning signs the Australian dollar may hit much lower, how low can it go? Some experts say it could drop below 85 US cents. The dollar is sitting around 89.71 US cents. These falls are the results of the contracting interest rate differential between the Australian dollar and the rest of the world. It is also due to the greenback strength and a fall in commodity prices. We should say while a fall in the Australian dollar may be good news for tourists, it is good news for manufacturers but the weak Australian dollar hasn't boosted the manufacturing sector yet. New figures show activity has slumped in July. The performance of manufacturing index by the Australian Industry Group has fallen sharply to 52. Readings below 50 indicate the sector is shrinking.There has been a rise in most capital cities? Yes, the home index value has risen by 1.6% in July after a solid rise in June of 1.9%. Canberra has enjoy ed the biggest gains with a 2.5% increase in home values this month. Adelaide is the only city to record a decline with values there falling by 1.5% in July.Thank you.The first group of asylum seekers to be processed under the Federal Government's new offshore resettlement policy has arrived in PNG. The Immigration Minister says the transfer of 40 men shows the Government is serious about not resettling asylum seekers in Australia. Liam Fox reports from Manus Island. Behind me is the entrance to the Lombram naval base in which the Federal Government's processing centre is located. It is now housing 40 new arrivals. The first transfer of asylum seekers under the so-called PNG Solution. The 40 single men, mostly from Iran and Afghanistan, arrived on Manus Island this morning after an overnight flight from Christmas Island. The Immigration Minister says the first transfer is a symbol of the people
Government's resolve to tackle there
people smuggling.As of today, there are 40 people who are now in PNG who are realising without any doubt that the people smugglers did not have a product to sell.Sending 40 people to Manus Island is proof of nothing other than the Government has sent less people to Papua New Guinea than they've actually taken off Papua New Guinea in Manus Island, the processing centre, over the last few weeks.Large tents have been erected at the processing centre to increase its capacity and more transfers are expected in the coming days. The Immigration Minister says family groups will be sent here once facilities have been improved.

Former NSW Labor Minister Eddie Obeid has spoken to the media for the first time since yesterday's explosive ICAC findings, vowing to challenge the case through every court of the land. Mr Obeid says it is in his best interests for any prosecution to proceed as quickly as possible because he wants to clear his name.This is nothing short of a political witch-hunt against myself and Macdonald and it is backed up by the O'Farrell government. We will pursue this through every court of the land to prove that we're innocent, we've done nothing wrong and this has been a political witch-hunt to have Labor ex-ministers in the public eye being scandalised and victimised and vilified by - I don't blame the media, you're doing your job and you've got to report what has been said, but ICAC is a disgrace. If the DPP don't take it to court, we will because I'm not going to have this hanging over my head. I've given 20 years of service to the NSW Parliament and I am a very respected person by all those that dealt with me and I am ashamed of some of my colleagues in the Labor Party who become like a lynching mob just to protect themselves, hoping that they can look clean in all this. There is nothing in this. There is nothing in this inquiry that puts - that finds a smoking gun against anyone. The NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell says a special unit is being set up in the Department of public prosecutions to pursue charges against those the corruption watchdog has recommended prosecuting. Mr O'Farrell says the DPP has been given extra funding to prosecute those cases.Just as last year we more
increased the ICAC budget by more than $3 million to deal with these matters, an increase that is being repeated again this year for the Independent Commission Against Corruption, so too earlier this year we took a decision to increase the resources of the Director of Public Prosecutions' office. I think the budget increase is by around $5 million this year which, in part, is paying for a specialist ICAC prosecutions unit because we are determined to ensure that the Director of Public Prosecutions, the independent prosecutor in this State, has the resources to deal with these recommendations.Meanwhile, there has been some scandal within Mr O'Farrell's own Party with troubled NSW Finance Minister Greg sacked for breaching the ministerial code of conduct. Premier O'Farrell says Mr Pearce failed to declare a perceived conflict of interest when making a Sydney Water board appointment in 2011. Mr Pearce appointed lawyer Richard Fisher to the Sydney Water position and didn't disclose that Mr Fisher worked with his wife.The ministerial code of conduct is very clear. I have repeatedly said I expect the highest standards from my government and, where breaches occur, where codes are broken, there will be consequences.Mr Pearce will be replaced by Andrew Constance.

In Zimbabwe, millions of people have cast their ballots Robert
in an election to determine if Robert Mugabe will be given another term. Observers labelled the poll orderly and quiet but that has not calmed disquiet over the fairness of the vote as Africa correspondent Ginny Stein reports. At 89 years of age, Robert Mugabe is hoping to extend his 33-year rule one more time.People are voting very freely. We are very happy.With his vote, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai - Zimbabwe's long-time brides mate - came the hope that this time was his time.I thought it is not if, it is when.While uncertainty and anxiety surrounded the lead-up to voting day, it has produced one absolute - an end to four years of uneasy power-sharing between long-time rivals. The forced marriage was arranged by the international community to avoid further violence following the bloody 2008 poll. Only a handful of foreign observers were allowed to monitor this election.It has been quiet, it has been orderly.While Robert Mugabe has promised to stand down if he loses, not so Morgan Tsvangirai. He says he will only accept the outcome of a free and fair election which he and his party say this ballot is not. I am sure that there is potential of unrest if people are not given an results
opportunity to vote.First results are expected to soon start trickling in but the official result won't be known for some days yet.

Egypt's interim government has ordered police to clear protesters from the streets, prompting fears of more bloodshed. But supporters of the ousted President Mohammed Morsi say they will defy the latest order to end their protest.The pro-Morsi protesters now know what to expect after the Government gave the go ahead for police to clear them from the streets.TRANSLATION: The cabinet has decided to take all necessary measures and assign the police to end the protests. This is to protect the national security of the country and the safety of the Egyptian people.At the largest protest at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, the crowds were defiant. Women and children were advised to leave. Many stayed despite the death of so many here just last weekend.TRANSLATION: There are expectations of a massacre taking place in front of the eyes of the whole world. The free people of Egypt and the world must stand against this stupid cabinet mandate for the police to end the sit-in protests.Outside Cairo University, a smaller but no less determined protest with the same message. They will fight to restore Mohammed Morsi as President whatever the cost.We came here to reject this military coup. We do not allow. If they would like to kill us, they kill us.We are searching for our freedom and we won't go back from here.No-one here knows when an assault may begin but most think it is inevitable. More than 200 people have died in recent weeks, including right here at the University. With no hint of compromise, these two sides look set for a head-on conflict and that will mean more bloodshed in the streets of Egypt.

The former fuge - the fugitive, former intelligence officer Edward Snowden has released more secret documents showing how the US can monitor Internet communication. Snowden's revelation s were published in the 'Guardian'. It shows a training network with four sites highlighted Australia used to search for information from Internet users. One application can intercept chats on Facebook. Snowden had played down earlier comments about the National Security ajeantcy but the latest documents appear to back claims. It is just like the real thing only in a lab. A huge facility simulating the sea has opened in North Queensland. It will help scientists learn more about the Barrier Reef
threats facing the Great Barrier Reef and how best to deal with them. It has taken nearly $37 million and two years but what's regarded as a quantum leap for marine science is ready for business. The Australian Institute of Marine
National Sea Simulator at the Science Science near Townsville will provide a cutting edge nerve centre for research into coral reefs.It allows groups of scientists from AIMS and universities such as James Cook and all around the world to come together and study some of the big questions.Using sophisticated technology, researchers are hoping to gain more insight into the long-term effects of climate change, ocean acidification and dredging. This new research facility will offer scientists precise control over experiments, giving them the chance to do things they haven't been able to do before.We can keep coral alive and healthy for years which allows us to long look at long-term effects in a stable setting.Fighting the Crown of Thorns Starfish will be a priority. Scientists want to find out more about the animals and better ways of controlling it.We can do it by seeing if there are chemicals called pheromones which attract Crown of Thorns Starfish together. We may be able to use that as a trap.Using the sea simulator for reef solutions.

A slight pick up in China's manufacturing activity last month hasn't helped the dollar. The country's official Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 53 in July. The PMI is a key indicator of expansion. China's growth slowed for two quarters in a row and there is concern it may slow further. Sport - Christian Sprenger has narrowly missed out on winning his second gold medal at the world championships in Barcelona. Two days after winning the 100m breaststroke, Sprenger was edged out by Cameron Van Der Burgh. The margin was one-hundredth of a second. James Magnussen mag qualified sixth fastest for the 100m final while fellow Australian Cameron McEvoy was seventh fastest. Shane Warne has offered advice to the Australian cricket team ahead of the third Test in Manchester today. The spin bowling great joined the Australians for the final training session. A star guest for the last training session before a Test that could spell the end of any Australian hopes of regaining the Ashes. The king of spin has history at Old Trafford and maybe, just maybe, his influence could bring the team the magic touch that has been so elusive.No scoop or anything, just bowling in the nets with the spinners. I have done it for 25 years, I am sure I have a little knowledge to help them with.On field there has been little to celebrate with Australia but positive news off it with Mickey Arthur settling his dispute with Cricket Australia.I have been mindful of protecting the Australian cricket team from any further publicity surrounding this dispute. With this fair and reasonable deal, we can get on with our lives, thank you very much.I don't know much about it.They have reached a confidential settlement.That's great. Hasn't had an impact on the team.Haven't been thinking about it? Obviously not.England's chances are good and look to have got better with Kevin Pieterson on the end but the team says it is taking nothing for granted.They're a dangerous side. Trent Bridge was a close game, that was two games ago. We obviously played well at Lord's and it was a big victory. It has been a very tough series for us.Statistically Old Trafford has seen more draws than other Test grounds but the Australian skipper is adamant that this time a draw would not be good enough.Definitely not good enough. Got to win the next three Test matches to win the series. That's why we are here. We will be doing everything we can to win this Test.If nothing else, the rain could thwart that ambition.

The Australian women's cricket team has left for England in the lead-up to their own Ashes series. The champions will be decided over a new multi-format series including one Test, three one-dayers and three T20 matches.In the last 12 months or so, had some wonderful success and the last two World Cups have been the pinnacle so far. As a group we'd like to continue. That kind of success is nice to be in the habit of winning.James Hird has denied a series of claims levelled at him by former high-performance manager Dean Robinson about the club's controversial supplements program. Robinson broke his silence in a paid television interview last claimed Hird was the architect of the Bombers' supplement program which is at the centre of an ASADA investigation. Robinson says Hird told him about a banned testosterone cream that he was interested in buying from an American doctor.Never spoken to a New York doctor. The club has made a statement, I'd prefer if you read that statement.Did you ever ask him to investigate untraceable creams? No. Definitely not.ASADA is expected to hand its report to the AFL and Essendon next week. In NRL news, West Tigers' star Benji Marshall says he won't make a decision on his playing future for some time as he considers which SuperRugby club to play for next season. Marshall will leave rugby league and is considering offers from the NSW Waratahs and Auckland Blues but has ruled out playing for the

Thanks, James, and good evening. I'm Craig Allen. Coming up in the Canberra News. We'll have more Canberra News. We'll have more family reaction, as murderer Roger Dean is sentenced to life behind bars. The 37-year-old pleaded guilty to 11 counts of murder after setting fire to a Sydney nursing home in 2011. to a Sydney nursing home in 2011. The court was packed with more than 100 relatives of victims to hear the sentence handed down. The threat of sentence handed down. The threat of a new levy on banks has sent stocks tumbling today. The Government's confirmed it's considering imposing confirmed it's considering imposing a new deposit insurance levy to fund any future bank bailouts. But the impact was savage on the stock exchange, with the share prices of all four big banks taking a dive. Students have been given a Students have been given a first-hand account of life in space. Questacon is stirring an interest in science and maths by giving school kids a chance to hear from the experts at NASA. And they've been given their own mission - to build a neutrally buoyant object, just like their buoyant object, just like their space heroes. And we speak exclusively heroes. And we speak exclusively with Stephen Larkham as the Brumbies get ready for their biggest test in a decade. Larkham was part of the Brumbies' last championship team in 2004, now he's assistant coach. 2004, now he's assistant coach. We'll hear his thoughts on how they can beat the Chiefs on home soil. We'll have the details on those stories and the rest of the day's news in the Canberra bulletin at 7:00pm/

Cold front will slide through the south-eastern states through the weekend and bring snowfall through the alpine area. 10cm is more like the accumulated two to three day falls but we will see snow down to 11m on Friday. It is all in association with a cold front. It is moving up into the Bight at the moment. There is the cold air sitting in behind it. It will see temperatures across the south-eastern centres. Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra dropping below the average for August so the cooler air will have an impact across the region. Rainfalls not expected to be heavy through any of the centres but we will see strong and gusty winds at times. The combination of these frontal systems in the south because there is a series of them set to move through and a ridge of high pressure will form through central parts of the continent will maintain the vigorous north-west to south-westly wind flow through the south-eastern corner but the ridge will produce clear skies, light winds across the remainder of the continent. With milder temperatures anywhere away from the south-eastern corner of the continent. On Saturday we will start to see the conditions across the region. Another weak front passes through in the vigorous westerly wind flow. Widespread wind warnings across the region particularly for marine waters and cold conditions through the south-eastern capitals again. The potential of snow to low levels.

Graham Creed, thank you. That's all for this bulletin. The next edition will be up in an hour. We leave you in China where thousands flock to an indoor swimming pool in an attempt to escape the heat as temperatures reached 140-year highs. Thanks for your company. Bye for now.

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