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Live. Tonight - a political pause as attention turns to the worsening crisis in Syria.I regard it as a necessary and practical step to make sure that we are fully briefed on developments.Between ordinary campaigning events I will be receiving briefings and updates on the situation in Syria.Widespread condemnation but no action, the international communities a es struggle over Syria.A building past its useby date, what would a refurbished Lodge look like. And facing off, the Wallabies play the All Blacks in a must win match. Good evening, Craig Allen with ABC News. Kevin Rudd the campaigner has taken a back seat to Kevin Rudd the PM. Today Mr Rudd called an abrupt halt to campaigning. He's back in Canberra tonight for briefings on the situation in Syria. Attending to what he calls his first responsibility as PM. But not before making a quick trip to Brisbane to film a cooking show. Political correspondent Greg Jenette reports.Apply the brakes. Kevin Rudd's campaign's powering down.He's back in the office he's trying to win back.If I could begin on the question of Syria.The PM's monitored alarm in Washington and Whitehall, Moscow and New York that chemical weapons have been unleashed in Syria prompting him to pause on the campaign trail.I regard it as a necessary and practical step to make sure that we are fully briefed on developments.He's already spoken to the US ambassador, security agencies will give intelligence reports. Australia could have to take a position on any intervention through its seat on the UN Security Council.We take our alliance obligations seriously, we take our caretaker conventions obligations seriously.Which means Tony Abbott will be given briefings too.I will be continuing my campaign but in between ordinary campaigning events I will be receiving briefings and updates on the situation in Syria.Somewhere between his departure from Sydney and his dash to Canberra Mr Rudd did find time for a side trip to Brisbane.How do you get a politician to open up?To shoot an episode of the ABC's 'Kitchen Cabinet'.D diversion to Parliament House for prime
security briefings may be a prime ministerial duty but it takes valuable time out of Kevin Rudd's calender with just 2 weeks to go and as the polls suggest he's struggling to hold onto his own seat. Nationally Neilsen polling has Labor's primary vote slipping two points to Finney%.I will fight for what I believe in, more importantly, I will fight for those I believe in as well.I did OK for someone who was so old.The polls suggest Tony Abbott could pick Americana seats.I don't believe them. I think this is a very, very close race.Still, the word seems to be getting through.What a smart youngster. Key line stop the boat, scrap the carbon tax. Do you want me to sign this?The collector's edition.The Greens concede Tony Abbott is on track to become PM in a fortnight and they're using the latest polls to warn voters against giving the Coalition outright control of both houses of Parliament. Simon Cullen reports on the Greens' official campaign launch.Here's a first.What a lot of energy we've got in the room.A Greens launch where Bob Brown takes a back seat. Even if from the front row.The real leader has one eye on the past.It's the first time the Greens have had our very own wise elder and aren't we lucky to have that.The other on the battle ahead.And if the poll trend is right, Tony Abbott will be the next PM.(Audience boos)It's the threat of a Coalition-controlled Senate that has the Greens sounding the alarm and talking of double value voting.Not only does it return the Greens but it stops Tony Abbott getting absolute power in the Federal Parliament.They're thaish pitch is to focus on the issues that matter, highlighting differences on refugees, gay marriage and the environment.Neither Labor nor Tony Abbott can be trusted.They've also announced plans for clean air legislation.This is the great Greens team.There's plenty of enthusiasm in this room for the party's message. The challenge will be to convert that into broader public support and ultimately parliamentary seats. On that measure the Greens face a struggle to hold onto Adam Bandt's seat of Melbourne. In the Senate where there's Farrar of them they're getting no favours from the Coalition on preferences. Economic fringe dwellers is how Tony Abbott describes them, even though their paid parental leave policy is similar to theirs.Even though people are wrong on most things they can be right on some things and when it comes to this they had a rare lucid moment.Like it or not he could have to negotiate if the Greens get the balance of power. The ACT Liberals have launched their federal election campaign Wartner weeks to go until polling they deer positive they can keep the Greens candidate out-of-the second Senate spot. The mood was jubilant as supporters cheered on their candidates. After being on Opposition benches in the ACT assembly since 2008, Senate candidate Zed Seselja says he's looking forward to having his first experience on the Government benches.I am, but we're not taking anything for granted. So certainly the signs are positive but we know that we need a very strong two weeks in order to make sure we are in government after September Farnsworth.Senate incumbent, Gary Humphries, was a no show after being replaced on the Liberal Senate ticket earlier this year.Police are investigating the third drive-by shooting in Gungahlin in as many weeks. Police found 2 bullet holes in the lounge room window of a house in Ngunnawal after a neighbour reported hearing gunfire early on Friday morning.Witnesses told officers they saw a car driving away immediately after the shots were fired. Earlier this month shots were fired into a house on Anthony Rolfe Avenue just days after tattoo parlour on the same street was targeted. Police say they don't believe any of the shootings are linked.Paquettes of frozen broccoli from China are being recalled after glass was found in the packaging. Tadalafil00 gram bags of black and gold brand broccoli are sold at IGA, Foodworks and other independent grocers in the ACT and NSW and are marked with a best before date of July 2, 20 Faust.The British Foreign Secretary says he believes the Assad regime has carried out a large-scale chemical attack on Syrian people but he's called for further investigation of the incident. The US President is more circumspect calling the events of this week troubling but warning against responding too quickly. Here's Europe correspondent Philip Williams and a warning, his report contains some disturbing images.As the world ponders what to do next, more video has emerged. This from a Syrian film-maker, witnesses telling him of the terrifying moments after the apparent attack. TRANSLATION: My father, mother, all my sisters and brothers, plus at least Floyd neighbours collapsed on the floor. I managed to bring myist two sisters and some other girl thos the field hospital. TRANSLATION: We aechb saw cars hitting walls because the drivers lost consciousness as they tried to transport the victims for treatment. But for all the video and testimony governments are demanding hard evidence. President obam, spoke of his concern but he's not saying what he will do if it's proven the Syrians crossed his red line.There is no doubt that when you start seeing chemical weapons used on a large scale and again, we're still gathering information about this particular event but it is very troublesome.The British Foreign Secretary William Hague was not waiting for verification.We do believe that this is a chemical attack by the Assad regime on a large scale but we would like the UN to be able to assess that.Perhaps surprisingly, the Russian Government joined in demands for the UN weapons inspectors in Damascus to be allowed to investigate before the evidence trail goes cold. But later they accuse the Syrian rebels of not guaranteeing inspectors safe pack - passage, something they vehemently deny.We want the evidence to show and we will do whatever it takes to protect them. If this is the red line, everyone is waiting to see what, if anything, comes next.A simultaneous attack on 2 mosques has killed Flanagan people and wounded hundreds more in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. The blasts occurred as Friday prayers ended in a Sunni area. This shows the moment the explosion rips through the wall of the mosque sending clouds of dust.There's fears the war in Syria is increasing sectarian violence in Lebanon.The US army psychiatrist who shot dead Ezell thir teen people has been convicted of all charges. Nidal Hasan admitted to the shootings saying he wanted to protect soldiers in the Taliban by attacking soldiers in the US. He declineded to present a defence and had no visible reaction as the veblt was read.I'm thankful that this decision came down unanimously. It is apparent that the jury saw all the evidence presented in this case and that they made the right decision.Hasan could face the death penalty when the sentencing phase of the trial begins next week.A state of emergency has been declared in Fall - California where a large wildfire is threatening thousands of homes. The blaze tripled in size overnight and has blackened thousands of hectares of forest at the edge of the Yosemite National Park. Nearby towns have been evacuated. It's feared the blaze could cut San Francisco's power supply. It's the largest of about wildfires burning. It was meant to be over in a few hours but the trial of Bo Xilai has gone into a third day. The former politician today challenged the evidence of a key witness. As the public scrutinises the trial on-line. Bo Xilai's unexpectedly robust defence is threatening to dent public confidence in the system. China correspondent Stephen McDonnell is in Jinan for the hearing.This trial is not going to plan for the Chinese communityist party. They wanted to show this process as being transparent but the troublesome former political star continues to use the hearings to make the case appear unjust.Bo Xilai cross-examined a former government employee who has accused him of diverting taxpayers' money into his own pocket. The prosecution witness had to concede he couldn't remember the details it was too long ago. These interactions are being posted on the court's official Weibo social media account. It may not be full openness but there's a constant stream of controversial detail coming out-of-the trial.An official spokesman declares that the hearing has been looking at the facts relating to this em bezlement of nearly $Ezell million but again they seem to be falling short of pinning this on the former leader, the party wanted to be rid of. Because this is not a genuine, rigorous, independent trial. How it plays out in the court of public opinion can be crucial. And what many Chinese people will see is on the one hand a pretty weak prosecution case against Bo Xilai. But on the other, his seemingly unbelievable defence that he knew nothing about the money, the airline tickets and the house in France given to his wife as corrupt payments.The trial has just started to hear the claims that Bo Xilai tried to cover up his wife's role in a murder.The lodge may have new residents within a matter of weeks but is the building itself still fit for a PM? It's in desperate need of either a renovation or a replacement but in these times of economic restraint any suggestion of splashing cash on the PM's house is unlikely to be popular and that sparked a search for other options to pay for it.In the Lodge ten ↑ency is never assured but this time it's the building itself that's reached igts useby date. It doesn't represent modern Australian lifestyles. It doesn't represent a building that we as Australians can be truly proud of.Built in in Talacen it was dated.The Lodge was a temporary building anyway and it is just so old.Now a trans-Tasman competition has asked designers how a new Lodge might look. From the free flowing and fluid to the downright flamboyant, these grand designs solve the problem of space, security and function ↑ality but lit come at a cost.Somebody is going to say how many millions is this going to cost. It doesn't matter what they do that will be the objection.The solution could be to depoliticise the project.I think you have to remove it from politics. You actually have to have a situation where perhaps some funds are provided, perhaps independent of government.Philanthropic dominations already fund the art and furniture in official residences and there's a ground swell of support for private funding for this too.You might have to put $fiftiy million towards it but whether you could get twenty or thirty million.The Lodge is the to live on certain will to outlast all who live there.St All Blacks look set to retain the Bledisloe Cup for another year. The Wallabies lead by six early in the match but Ben Smith scored two tries to set up a nine-point advantage for the home side at halftime.The All Blacks increased their advantage after the break with several penalty goals to Tom Taylor. The All Blacks took the park in Wellington eyeing off an eleventh consecutive Bledisloe Cup. Their hopes rested on the untried and untested Tom Taylor at fly half. The twenty-four-year-old almost made a dream start on debut.In the chaotic opening minutes the Wallabies appeared to have scored a try but the play wasn't reviewed. The Wallabies settled for early points as rain began to fall-like last week's series opener in seary, the All Blacks cut through Australia's defensive line with ease. Israel Folau put his body on the line to keept the All Blacks out. Christian Lealiifano made a break of his own and a controversial penty kept the Wallabies from scoring a try.Instead the All Blacks generated something from nothing as players queued up on the wing and the All Blacks took the lead.James Slipper went down in defence as the All Blacks stole the momentum. Another glaring overlap gifted Ben Smith his second try and put the All Blacks up by nine at halftime.The Wallabies regrouped at halftime and James O'Connor found some room on the wing.But the All Blacks absorbed the pressure and the tide continued to turn against the Wallabies as New Zealand's forwards took control. Quade Cooper entered the arena to his now customary reception.The booing starts.The All Blacks pushed their advantage to twelve Midway through the second half. A late intercept try from Folau kept the Wallabies in touch in the dying stages of the match.The Essendon football club remains in negotiations with the AFL over its supplements program. Club chairman Paul Little said matters should be settled soon but it appears the sticking point is the AFL's penalty proposals for coach James Hird and other senior staff.As Essendon's players get on with football legal heavyweights from both the club and the AFL are wrangling over what charges and penalties the club will face. The club said it could settle with the AFL before Monday morning and accept a set of penalties which are now widely reported.Removal from the season, there will be a heavy financial fine.Essendon's chairman released a statement yesterday saying the evidence against the club doesn't extend to drug cheating.

The ABC understands the AFL's latest offer of penalties, one of many came on Thursday night and would see head coach James Hird suspended for a year, football operations manager Danny Corcoran suspended for three months along with the club's doctor Bruce Reid. Mark Thompson is facing a fine. With James Hird's case against the AFL Commission's right to hear the matter due for hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court this Friday it appears he at least will be fighting on.Should he do that I think he wouldn't be able to remain as Essendon coach for the time being, for the duration of that.With speculation increasing that Essendon will be kicked out of this year's finals race, five team, Carlton, Adelaide, West Coast, Brisbane and North Melbourne are still a chance of stealing the Bombers' final berth.The percentage motivation for what's happening with Essendon and potentially playing finals because of their misfortune was zero.No-one likes litigation in this game and hopefully wise heads will reveil.But tonight Essendon says no deal has been reached.And Geelong is making a statement at Kardinia Park just two weeks out from the finals putting on a dominant display against the premiers. With so much on the line in this match a fast start was going to be crucial and it was Geelong who very much took the early initiative. Paul Chapman got in on the action in his first AFL match in eight teen weeks.While Sydney lost Rhyce Shaw for the match and possibly a season with a knee injury. The Cats dominated the Swans everywhere except the scoreboard twenty inside fifth fifthies only yielded a foureen point advantage. After twenty two minutes five behinds Geelong finally managed a goal courtesy of a Joel Selwood free kick and in the shadows of halftime Steve Johnson gave the Cats a safer and more indicative halftime buffer of twenty-five points.

The Cats all but killed the contest with the first two goals of the second half as the floodgates threatened to open. But Sydney gave itself the faintest of hopes with the only two other majors of the term just before the final change. And the final score in that match Geelong beat Sydney ninety-two to forty-eight. After a week where the club's future has been questioned the Tigers responded with a win over the Dragons at the S.C. G.

Fifty years ago this embrace after St George's grand final victory against Wests struck a chord with the rugby league faithful. Members of the squads watched a vastly different match at the S.C. G today. The Dragons opened scoring.It was one-way traffic for the rest of the first half with three tries to the Tigers.

Tim Simona scored a after the break and Luke Brooks looked the part in first grade.Last night's thriller at the Olympic Stadium was marred by a wrestling move and two shoulder charges.The Rabbitohs were ahead at halftime.Canterbury and Souths went try for try in the second half.Brown brought the Bulldogs within striking distance with his second try but it wasn't enough with Souths staying in the hunt for the minor premiership. The Panthers and the Broncos knew a loss would mean the end of their finals hopes. They were locked at two tries a piece at the break.Lama Tasi was put on report for a high hit.Segeyaro completed his first NRL hat-trick leaving Broncos half-back Peter Wallace to contemplate his future with the Panthers who he will be rejoining next season. This evening the Titans didn't take long to show why they're in finals contention.The Warriors struck back with Dayne Neilsen but the home side scored twice more to lead at halftime.In the Canberra raiders Cup the queen dean questionian Kangaroos have got a spot in the grand final. The grand final will be an all Queanbeyan affair with the Blues already into the decider.The Kangaroos missed their first chance to book a spot in the decider last weekend against their cross-town rivals the Blues. The Bushrangers had upset Belconnen and their momentum appeared to carry on this week as they scored first off the back of consecutive forty-twenties. Bold play from Tuggeranong gave them a sniff at another upset as risky decisions paid off with more points early in the match. The Kangaroos demonstrated their big game experience with strong defensive play and eventually overran the plucky Bushrangers to set up an all Queanbeyan grand final next weekend. In the northeastern AFL the Demons set about ensuring their survival this season against a resurgent Giants reserve side. B but the GWS young guns showed off their talents with a superb opening term. Their only flaw their goal kicking. The Giants straightened their goal kicking and left Eastlake behind. Also today Belconnen defeated Ainslie which means the Giants will face Belconnen next weekend while the Demons' season is over. In the John I dent Cup the Vikings booked a place in the grand final after defeating Royals. Both sides struggled to break the game open.The Vikings had suffered a shock loss to Royals just weeks ago and were forced to survive a tense finish to overcome the Underdogs forteen to thirteen. England's defensive batting and forecast rain are conspireing against Australia in the fifth Ashes Test at the oval. The home team scored two runs an over on day three with frustrations spilling over onto the field.With the already won and a big first innings to chase on ado I'll pitch, England's scoring rate was more slow walk than trot.It's not always easy to go out there and score at four an over. Like I said, full credit to Australia, they made it very hard for us to score freely today.Most spectators weren't close enough to hear the day's most exciting exchange.They're still shouting at each other.Clarke apparently told Pietersen no-one in the English team liked him. The batsman responded by telling Clarke that he wasn't popular among his own team and he's the captain.Yeah, it was pretty tame really.I think it was just asking them what they were up to. If they were thinking of playing a few strokes.Playing cricket hard on the field and, you know, hopefully we can have a beer together at the end of the series.Root will be hoping it's friendlier than his pre-Ashes drink with David Juaner. Shane Warne landed some blows in commentary bagging the baggy green.We have this ridiculous thing Steve Waugh bought in that was silly. He said everyone in the first hour has to wear the green baggy cap and I said to him "I don't need to wear the green say I enjoy playing cricket for Australia. I want to wear my white floppy." He said, "No, we're all doing it."Alastair Cook hasn't set his usual example with the bat but half-centuries from Root and Pietersen prevented the tourists from gaining momentum.England's levelled the women's Ashes series after defeats the Southern Stars by fifty-one runs in the second one-day game. The two teams meet again tomorrow.Unlike Britain it was just magic winter weather around the ACT today. Farmer

Most of the local cloud is moving out to sea now leaving a continent pretty well clear. Just a bit of front ↑al cloud over Tassie. The high pressure system that's developed over the mainland will move slowly east and we're so close to the centre of it we're in for more days of delightful, sunny weather.

Before we go a brief recap of our top story tonight and Kevin Rudd has halted his campaigning to return to Canberra for a briefing on the situation in Syria. Mr Rudd says he takes his duties as PM seriously. Tony Abbott will be briefed in Brisbane tomorrow. And that's the latest from the Canberra newsroom. We'll leave you with some of the chooks competing at the Tasmanian rare breeds poultry show in Hobart. I'm Craig Allen, thanks for jour - your company, goodnight. Captions by CSI Australia