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Live.Tonight - warnings, evacuations and schools closed as NSW firefighters a horror day ahead.This is not a day off school. I would encourage every parent to know where their children are, they need to be able to act with the family in accordance with your bushfire survival plan .Same-sex marriage laws pass in the ACT with the Commonwealth already planning a High Court challenge. The Federal Government moves to handle
raise the debt creeling to handle a looming blow-out. And later on Grandstand out for the count, a pay dispute Fitzsimmons ditch his fight against Anthony Mundine.Live across Australia this is News 24, hello and welcome, I'm Mountains
threat in the NSW Blue Mountains is set to take a turn expected to
for the worse. Tomorrow's expected to be hotter and drier than previously forecast with wind gusts up to 70km/h. Emergency services have taken the extraordinary step of closing schools and child-care centres in the fire affected areas.From the sky above the Blue Mountains, all you can see can't
the smoke, everywhere. What you can't see is the frantic activity below. The hills are swarming with men and women in yellow relentlessly attacking this fire day in day out.We are seeing some positive results of these very deliberate, very targeted and very decisive strategy.A second day of mild conditions has given the RFS is chance it needed to put massive coordinated
operation.Working middle, putting a backburn in.Backburning has circumstanceled the major townships here and it's deliberately connected this fire with the much bigger blaze txgt
to the north around Lithgow txgt two are now linked by a narrow strip of burnt land with
joining the Mount Victoria fire with the giant State Mine fire, a thin line along the Darling Causeway designed to protect Mount Victoria, Black Heath and other towns along the Great Western Highway. For the controlled burning on their doorstep is both daunting and reassuring.It is ominous but it's a good thing for them to property is
be doing todayChris West's property is right in the thick of it. But he used to be a firey and he knows what do.It's not a mart of if it's going to happen, it's when, and as you can see, we're in no danger at all.We're standing just on the outskirts of Black Heath and this area has just been backburned. It runs right up against the properties that sit along the ridge and it's just started raining but if that brings hope it's false hope and if anything it even hinder this backburning operation. The work's being done, now it's a matter of waiting and watching.Tonight is the night, now is the time, you need to sit down, have conversation with your family, every
know what it is that each and every one of you are going do.An entire region holds its breath.Meanwhile on the Western side of the Blue Mountains near Lithgow many of the communities of barely more their
than a few families protected their farms or orchards. They have the jut most admiration for fire crews.They go where others are unable to venture, the crack remote area fittest of the
firefighting team are the fittest of the fit. Trained dry firefighting deck neeks to go behind the fright line, they trek through rugged are winched into isolated spots by expert pilots.Chainsaws, rake hoes, backpacks, survival kits, each man goes in with a backpack and one or two others iets eps.These are the small protected.
isolated communities they're protected. Along the Bells Line of Road which runs across the Blue Mountains, a tiny communities, often no more than a cluster of houses. These communities including Bell to the west, which is close toast the State Mine fire. Heading down the mountain towards Sydney there's Mount home to the Blue Mountains botanic garden, Berambing and Bilpin known for its apples. At Bell, Greg Hague keeps a menangerie on his farm, ducks, wallaroos and lambs born during the fires. He's high in for firefighters but critical
of restrictions on how protects his property.We got to be able to burn a lot easier make it a lot easier that you can just ring up and control say that we're going to have a little burn here and trust the that
people that have got the place Berambing
that they'll do it rightAt Berambing Phil Irwin and his family will stay unless they're forced to leave by authorities.I've got time I'm going to wet down anything I can, that could burn and then neighbour's
we're going to go up to the neighbour's place and take shelterAnd here in the apple not
growing communities of Bilpin, not just homes but livelihoods are at risk.If the spot fires come through tomorrow and the wind gusts they're talking about, and we lose the orchard, we'll lose the next seven years incomeIf the orchards in the area are spared in the fire, the growers that sell by roadside have still taken a hit to their income as the Bells Line of Road is closed.As firefighters and communities prepare for the most dangerous day so far, an 11-year-old boy has faced court charged with lighting a bushfire. He's one of a number of children accused of deliberately lighting fires during the emergency.Just 11 years and accused of enormous destruction. The boy spent the last night in custody, he's now under house arrest after his family posted $500 bail. His lawyer says he'll plead not guilty to deliberately lighting north of Newcastle
the Heather Brea fire just north of Newcastle last communities
week.How dare anyone threaten communities as we move into these hot dry difficult periods and how dare anyone threaten the lives of the firefighters that are going out there to try communities.Five
and protect those communities.Five children have now been charged with intentionally starting fires in the last week in NSW. doesn't surprise criminologists.Young people going
around that kind of age will be going out and doing things that are impulsive and reckless, kids like doing that sort of stuff, they like taking risks bushfires
as wellThere's around 50,000 bushfires inary a year, only a fraction start naturally, a third are accident alley lit whereas 50% are thought to be deliberately tarted or suspicion. And police want potential arsonists to know they're being watched.We've of
developed a data base of number convicted
of people who as either been convicted or there's enough intelligence for to us believe that they may be possible to light a fire.And when bushfire season begins police pay them a being
visit.If they know they're being watched there'll be an opportunity that they won't go out and light a fire.Initial Springwood and
investigations suggest the Springwood and Mount Victoria fires in the Blue Mountains started by falling powerlines, the cause of the massive Lithgow fire is still unknown. But defence is examining testing played
whether it's itself explosives testing played a part.To Lithgow now, and Ben Worsley is our reporter there. It sounds like firefighters will be up against it tomorrow?That's Serge the case. sense of doom here but there most certainly a sense of preparedness. The last 48 hours has been a god send. Two days of calm conditions to get ready for what's to come. The hallway behind me, these chaps behind me, they're the night shift. There are 200 firefighters in, there they've been asleep until recently. They're and getting ready to head back out to the fire zone to the north of Lithgow, to the south of Lithgow, they're going to be controlling monitoring this blaze or these blazes ahead of tomorrow's worsening conditions. Tomorrow winds will come from the north-west, the humidity will drop, the temperatures will rise but the biggest concern is the winds, the strength of the winds is expected to big up dramatically. That's why we're all talking about tomorrow and these guys have been working so enormous
hard to get ready .It's an enormous mobilesation effort, preparation?To
what's the community doing in seriously
preparation?To show just how seriously the authorities are taking this threat to this community, every school in the Blue Mountains tomorrow, all 25, have been shut. A whole raft of communities from Lithgow along the Bells Line of Road up to Mount Bilson, south of here, Mount Victoria, through Black particularly Black Heath the Great Western Highway along the Grose Road, all those communities they're all effectively on alert. They've been told to have their fire plans ready and to know if and how evacuate if things get as bad as people are expecting.Ben Worsley in Legislative Council, battling these blazes is a massive operation and the defence force is playing a key role in keeping the water bombing aircraft in air.Attacking these fires from the air is an operation that takes military precision and the RAAF is helping out by letting the choppers and fixed wing planes refuel here at the Air Force base at Ross Hanson is the air base manager and this is what you could a hot refuel, what's going on right here?We're currently having the aircraft running and refuelling it so they do not have to shut down. We don't want him to shout down because we want him to leave immediately. If he shuts down he's got to be on the ground for 20 minutes to half an hour and in a fire situation that happen.Joe
sometimes doesn't need to fire
happen.Joe Murphy flies the fire bird 200 for the RFS. You've been out there not water bombing, actually starting fires?Unfortunately, that is my task. What we're tasked to do with this machine at the moment is to help with the hazard reduction and essentially do the backburning operation back towards the north-eastern corner of this fire so it's pretty interest ing experience at the moment up there. It's very smoky and the visibility is really quite low.So Joe, this incendiary machine ironically called rain dance, how does it work?We feed these capsules into the and then
machine, they feed through here and then the they drop out the bottom of the helicopter sew we obviously to define the area we're going to burn and we'll set off with filling that in and we'll burn it back towards where the safe containment lines are.To Jamelle Wells at the Rural Fire Service headquarters at Homebush for the latest on you're
What's the latest information you're being given?There is still about 60 fires burning across the State. Many of those are uncontrolled and the main area of concern for firefighters is still the Blue Mountains area. However, that warning for extreme fire conditions tomorrow extends the Southern
beyond the Blue Mountains to Hunter
the Southern Highlands, to the Hunter Valleyer and to the greater Sydney area. The RFS commissioner a short time ago said that there are not to be forced mass evacuations in the Blue Mountains, but he's urging people to sit down tonight with their neighbours and friends and family and go over their fire survival plan. He says if you don't have that plan in place, it may be an idea to leave tomorrow morning, but if you're planning to the Blue Mountains area, leave early, leave by about 10am. He also noted that there will be some road restrictions in vehicles
place, he said that heavy vehicles and vehicles with wide loads could be restricted from using the Great Western Highway and the Bells Line of Road. The commissioner noted that his main job tomorrow will be to save houses and prevent said
further loss of life, but he said that these are some of the had to
worst fire conditions he's ever had to deal with.We're talking about this change coming in tomorrow, the turn for the and
worse, when does that happen told to
and from when are people being told to act and for how long?Well, the changes to the weather tomorrow are expected to include not only high temperatures that will start around mid-morning but also very strong wind gusts. We're expecting winds from about 50km/h and we were told a short around
time ago that they could start around mid-morning as well. People are being advised to be packed up and ready to go by about 10am. The commissioner said that it would be ideal to leave before lunch time, because he said if everybody starts to leave after that, people
it's going to be harder for people to leave the mountains area and once again though he reinforced that there aren't going to be mass evacuations but be prepared to leave if you have to in your particular area.How are the resources being kept up there at the RFS headquarters given the scale of this disaster?On the ground we know there are a couple of thousand firefighters, that
rotated from active duty and that there's backup in interstate and it's pretty much the same here at Rural Fire Service headquarters. There are large contingency of back-up staff called in. There are crews from all over the State handling the logistics for example of just feeding the number of people who are on the ground. There are also extra admin staff, there are extra media people and they're all rotating, some people came in a little wile ago and I heard a couple of firefighters say to much
each other "have you slept, how much sleep have you had?" And one of them just put his hand on his colleague's shoulder just to reassure him, so there and
is a great sense of camaraderie and people working together but it's also very difficult conditions, that people working in and they're dealing with people on the ground who situation
are in a very stressful ask
situation and they're having to ask them to move on, to do as they're directed so that's surely got to take toll on these firefighters as well, even though they do receive training that are working under very difficult conditions.It's a remarkable effort. Jamelle Wells from the RFS headquarters in West of Sydney. It's not just building the
destroyed, heritage trains on the iconic Zig-Zag Railway have also beenors will. The damage bill could be as high as $4 million. Locals say it's a significant blow.Some of these a
carriages I don't think there's a possibility, they probably never be able to rebuild.The railway runs trains on the original zig-zag line built in climate
1869. The United Nations bushfires are
climate chief says the NSW bushfires are an example of the situation the world pay face if there isn't vigorous action climate change. Christiana already seeing
Figueres says the planet's global warming.The world meteorological organisation has not established the liempg between this wild fire and change yet but what is absolutely clear is the science is telling us that there are increase heatwaves in aidsa, Europe and Australia, that these will continue, that they will continue in their we've
intensity and frequency so what we've just seen on the screen is an example of what we may be looking at unless we take action.Let's turn to
actually vigorous action.Let's turn to some other news now, Australia's first gay marriage laws have been passed in the ACT. The Federal Government's already seeking High Court hearing to try to block those laws but that hasn't stopped gay and lesbian cup frls celebrating.The public gallery erupted into song as the marriage equality bill passed into law. # Love is in the air.It has been an emotional debate.Parents who want their children to live happy productive and hell thif livesLabor's bill passed with the support of the Greens, nine votes to eight.Some say this is an area of law that only Commonwealth has jurisdiction. We disagree with that view.I can on hope that we'll no longer be known as the home territory
the fat cats but the rainbow territory .The Canberra Liberals voted in a bloc against the bill and didn't have a conscience vote.We're united in our view that this is not a matter for the ACT Legislative Assembly. We are Australia's smaller part. We only have 17 members.But regardless same-sex able
from around Australia will be able to marry in the ACT before the end of the year.This is just the best day, the greatest day, it's just unbelievable and fantastic and and I can't thank the people of the ACT and their Government enough.I think that the ACT Government has done an outstanding job here today and I just really can't that it's finally happenedThe new law had barely passed when couples started popping the question. Ivan Hinton from Australian marriage equality proposed to his partner Chris during a press day that
conference.Today is the first day that I can propose to you and say will you be with me for the rest of my life and know that I can carry this intention all the way through. Chris, will you marry me?... Yes. SCATTERED APPLAUSE
But the celebrations could be short lived. The Commonwealth is challenging the laws in the High Court and today the Attorney-General George Brandis announced he's requesting an expedited hearing.There is some risk and some doubt around this law, these are legal waters.But gay and lesbian couples say that doesn't matter.Today is the day and the future will bring what it brings but today is today and it's nice to have that moment now.Today at least is a day celebration.Australia's
gearing celebration.Australia's is a day of
gearing up to push Commonwealth resignation debt towards half a trillion dollars. The Treasurer's announced he's jacking up the debt ceiling to handle a looming bloiout but he's working on a remedy commission of audit six months to find savings and spending
cuts.There goes Christmas.Tony Shepherd will chair the audit commission.Thank you so much for doing that.He's been given just three months to produce an initial list of Budget taming measures.With a final report was
due before April.The last one was done in 1996. It is time to do it again. And we are doing it.There will be cuts Government suspect sugar budget.The
coating it.We have to fix the budget.The commission's terms of reference spell out the sort of things the Coalition's interested in. Although the potential nasties come in code.

to live within
The Government has to be able to live within its means on a sustainable basis over the long-term and this is of course what the commission of audit calm
has to help us achieve in a calm methodical and orderly fashion.In the meantime, the Government's going do what it once railed against - lift current
Australia's debt limit. The current ceiling will be raised by $200 billion, a 67% increase. The Treasurer's been told debt will peak above billion, and he wants to have a buffer on top of that.We need to move this particularly in the wake of what has been revealed in the United States in recent times.The party that said they were all about turning around debt has now asked for permission for it to go to half a trillion dollars.The increase isn't a surprise although its size is, the Government hit the current limit in December. And that's why the audit commission's significant. It won't just recommend trims, it's searching for
long-term savings, measures that are likely to Coalition's political will.The mother of a woman allegedly thrown to her death in is tearfully recalled their last conversation. Joan Harnum says her daughter was planning to end her relationship with Simon Gittany and return home to Canada.In the weeks number
her death, Lisa Harnum took a number of steps to leave the man she was to marry. She had confided in a personal trainer about Simon Gittany's controlling behaviour and had also been to a counsellor. The court heard Ms Hahn Harnum told her mother back home he had found out and was furious. Joan Harnum said Gittany forced her daughter to sever contact with her confidants then the day before she died and
Lisa called her mother again and asked if she would come and get her. Mrs Harnum said - Snmplts?Lisa Harnum checked for flights online but her mother said she would book them at her Hend. Mrs Harnum then described another call from her daughter which proved to be the last.

Lisa Harnum was also said to be worried fa if she left Simon Gittany she wouldn't be allowed her
to say in Australia Hindmarsh her dream of residency would be over. Gittany denies murdering the 30-year-old and his submitted a series of greeting cards Ms Harnum wrote to how the couple had a loving relationship.Melbourne friends of an Australian Pakistani family murdered in northern Pakistan are struggling to come to with their violent deaths the Ullah Khan family which include a 7-year-old boy were killed a week ago. Police have arrested a nephew who has confessed and says he wanted the family's money.It should be a are visiting
time for a Afridi, his inlaws are visiting from Pakistan, instead they're all in shock.My wife suddenly screaming and crying, and same me, and for us, it was like we not accepting this newsAfridi's good friend, Ullah Khan as strong told week last week along with his wife, 14-year-old son Adam and 7-year-old boy. Their bodies were found dumped tonight outskirts of Islama bad. They lived in the Melbourne suburb of Glen Waverly from 2000 2005.What sort of family were they?Sweet. Beautiful. Lovely.Afridi says his friend moved back to Pakistan for work, Afridi spoke to Amir the week before he was killed and urged his friend to stop posting photos of his house and cars on Facebook.Don't show off, don't do these things, it's not safe for us and he just give me a smile and laugh and said that what he has he has and he's enjoying his lifeHis nephew, 27-year-old Sikander Zia has been arrested. He's reportedly admitted to hiring six assassins and said murdering his relatives was the easiest solution to get money. Afridi says this photo is of Amir attending the killer's engagement party. Afridi says he's sickened reports 7-year-old was killed last.He was very cheeky, he was very, very naughty, rung around,DFAT says its High Commission - murders
Afridi says these sorts of murders by family members are happening more regularly because there's no respect the law.To finance now and and
strong gains by BHP Billiton and the banks led the local share market to another five-year high

BHP Billiton shares jumped nearly 2.5% after the company announced record breaking iron ore production up 23% on last year and also lifted its guidance for what produce next year so the mining boom lives on at least in iron

Qantas has lost 13% in just a month. Not much action on global markets today, Wall Street was flat last night, European and Japanese stocks edged higher, Chinese market fell. On commodity markets, oil fell in New York last the tappies price in Asia was stead Jay today, silver when up but gold was flat and the wheat price fell in Chicago. And the Australian dollar was virtually flat as well down slightly against the US dollar. A couple of random charts tonight - you debt ceiling has
heard the Federal Government debt ceiling has been raised without the sort of bustup they have in the United maybe there should be a debt ceiling for the Australian they're
States, as this t t chart shows they're the ones with worsening deficits and to further to last night's one on inequal in the United States, this is kind of at the heart of it. A bit of a close match, the more people borrow, the more bankers get paid relative to those who are borrowing from

Got some strong winds again right across certain Australia tomorrow and they're going to prove very dangerous across fire fkts affected areas of NSW. It's in association with a complex low. It will send a trough up through NSW, very gusty north-westly winds, we are looking at the potential wind gusts around 70km/h where those fires are still burning at the moment. Through the south-east, once that low moves through, there's another front set to come up, that means we'll see winds right across the day, although for South Australia conditions should gradually ease a little.

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The top stories from ABC News - fire crews in NSW areration four
against the clock to contain four major blazes before the weather get worse. over the Blue Mountains today provided little relief and authorities are warning people to remain vigilant. More than 1,000 firefighters are still mammoth fire
trying to get on top of the mammoth fire near Lithgow and blaze at Springwood. Tomorrow is expected to be hotter and drier than previously forecast with wind gusts up to 70km/h. If Government will move to increase the Commonwealth debt limit to $500 billion. The Treasurer Joe Hockey says the nation's expected to reach the existing $300 billion debt ceiling by Christmas. It's also announced a six month audit Government spending in the face of what it calls a detierating budget position. The ACT has become the first to legalise same-sex marriage. A bill was passed in the ACT's Legislative Assembly today to allow an authorised sell brapt to marry gay couples but the Federal Government has confirmed it will challenge the laws in the high courts and Pakistani police have arrested the nephew of Australian man murdered along
with four other members of his family in Islamabad last week. Amir Ullah Khan lives in Melbourne for several years with his wife and three children. Police alleged the accused man killed their land. Catch up on the day's sports news now on Grandstand with Peter Wilkins.Tonight - the favourite is out of Plate. The Mark Kavanagh scratched
trained Atlantic Jewel has been scratched due to injury.When she cooled down we found that there was a bit of puffiness around the leg so when I got back from the barrier draw I didn't like the look of it so we had it over
tonight, Mosley ditches Mundine over money.I'm in a depression state the last few hours and it's pretty surreal to me right now.Hello, I'm Peter Wilkins and this the

and this the
Grandstand.Welcome to the program. Coming up - we talk rugby with former Wallaby Ross Reynolds and we speak to Kookaburras hockey coach Ric Charlesworth on a variety of issues. But first tonight this year's Cox Plate is now wide open after the hot favourite Atlantic Jewel was scratched from the race. The mare had won shorted a
10 of its 11 starts and was at shorted a to win Saturday's $3 million race. But a training mishap this morning has doubt on its racing future.At Moonee Valley's annual Cox Plate breakfast this morning, there was nothing to suggest the hot favourite was about to be scratched.Barrier's good. All fine. All systems go from here.But when Mark Kavanagh returned to his Flemington
stables, it became apparent the mare had pulled up lame from down
track work.When she cooled down we found a bit of puffy rns around the leg so when I got back from the barrier draw