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Live.

Tonight - a silver lining.

Global financial turmoil could

mean an early Christmas

present. They're telling us

quite clearly that interest

rate cuts are now on the

talks as the lobby groups line agenda. A cat nap at the tax

up to put their case. Police

say tougher alcohol laws are

working on the streets of

Canberra. And out of this

world. The cosmos as been seen before. Good evening. Adrienne

Francis with ABC News. The

Reserve Bank has left the door ajar for an interest rate cut

before Christmas. Today the RBA

kept rates on hold for the 11th

straight month, buying time

holding up amid a grim global

outlook. But in a statement outlook. But in a statement the

bank signals it's willing to

cut rates to keep the economy

ticking over if conditions get

worse.

As Europe fiddles global

growth burns and the Reserve

Bank might have to protect

Australia from a

right now, the scalding. Certainly right here,

right now, the RBA looks like

their discussion is whether to

cut rates or leave them on

hold. That's a big shift. The

RBA opted to keep rates a the 74.75% for an months ago higher interest

rates were still an option but

today's statement noted the increased urn certainty surrounding Europe's debt

problems, softer world growth

and the and the potential damage to

confidence and spending

everywhere. So if things get

worse and inflation isn't a

problem, the board says it would increase the scope for

interest rates to provide some

support to demand should that

prove necessary. Given the

uncertainties offshore and the soft local data a point cut may come through on soft local data a 25 basis

Melbourne Cup Day. Global

fears were reflected in the Australian dollar today which

dived below 95 US cents to a 12

month low. There has been a big

change in expectations about

Australia's outlook over the

last 12 months. It also

coincides with the lack of

Europe. decisive action from a divided

Europe. EU ministers are now

discussing boosting the rescue fund, called the EFSF, commitments and edges closer to

default. We are reviewing default. We are reviewing our

options to make this fund more

effective as a financial

firewall. We don't want to

increase the capacity of the

that EFSF. That's not a situation

that inspires confidence.

Nearly 200 of finest minds on tax have

swapped ideas in Canberra all

day but there isn't much to

show for it. The tax brought together many people show for it. The tax forum has

for nearly eight hours of

discussions. There were plenty of suggestions for new and

simpler taxes but unions remain

at odds with business and the

States still don't see eye to

eye with the Commonwealth. The

afternoon session proved too

taxing for some delegates. One seemed almost catatonic, despite another of the independents. Whatever does

your biscuit, the key from here

is outcomes. Rob Oakeshott is

the smart kooky who demanded a tax forum. Outcomes, outcomes,

outcomes. Major outcomes are

changes are possible. Clever unlikely. Although some tax

ideas about spending money have

to be matched with clever ideas

about where that money is

coming from. Despite that

exhortation the only thing the

tax and everyone else should delegates seem to agree on is

pick up the tab for it. Much of

what has been said is quite predictable. Could've the script for this before predictable. Could've written

coming in. Predictably, the business groups called for

company tax to be slashed to

25% and the unions disagreed. This forum can't be

allowed to be a vehicle for self-serving business interests. Lowering the

company tax rate to stay competitive is not a race to

the bottom. It's more like a

race to the middle in

for a slice of the predictably the States called Australia's

Commonwealth's income tax, in

return for cutting inefficient

taxes like stamp duty. Unless

you share in the most efficient

taxes the country has never move forward. I have no

appetite for that at all. Nor

does he have any appetite for

increasing the GST, changing

the mining tax, or embracing

some of the more radical suggestions, like a fat tax. Saturated fat tax, 3%.

And a traffic jam

tax. Congestion is costing in

order of $20 billion a

The coalition didn't attend the

forum. Tony Abbott says he

just another pointless talkfest wasn't invited. It looks like

from an embarrassingly

incompetent government. There

are 15 hours of talks and 200 people talking. Whatever you

call it, a summit, a forum or a

gab fest, all the big ideas are constrained by a constrained by a political

reality. The government doesn't

have the political capital or

the financial flexibility for

another big fight. The media industry watchdog

has launched an investigation

into whether the Nine Network

broke rules on political broad

cavilling in its football

about Nine's rugby league coverage. A viewer has chained

commentary team two weeks ago,

criticising government plans to

limit poker machine bets. The

Authority will investigate Communications and Media

whether the comments were political and whether Kneipp

should've acknowledged who

wrote and authorised the

message. This was no

off-the-cuff comment. It was

deliberate, scripted, it was calculated. And

regulator needs to look at this regulator needs to look at this

and Channel 9 needs to provide

an explanation as to where

these orders came from. The

Nine Network hasn't responded. It's previous said the

commentators were venting their

own opinions and the broadcast

wasn't paid for. Most of the

local councils which surround

the ACT including Cooma, Queanbeyan, Yass and Goulburn

Malwarie are involved in the

biggest inquiry undertaken by

the New South Wales

ICAC anti-corruption watchdog. The

100 government authorities for

receiving kickbacks from

suppliers. Investigators are

corruption of the these are calling it a pervasive web of

alleged fruits of many a

corrupt public servant's

labour. Personal gifts, a holiday in Batemans Bay

received in ex change for

contracts with suppliers. Sales contracts with suppliers. Sales

rep Martin Slade told the

inquiry he sold safety gloves

to a member of staff at Byron

shire council and was asked,

what's in it for me? So he threw in a $100 Coles Myer

vouchered and made a note in

his freebie book. He said "It

was the done thing, so I was the done thing, so I just

carried on." The buyer was often allowed to choose his own

gift, perhaps a Drizabone coat

or a set of golf balls. Night.

A sliding scale the bigger the order the better the gift. Relatively gift. Relatively small

incentives but on a massive

scale. It would be wrong to

view these matters as mis conduct confined to a

apples. Systemic corruption in more than 100 public

authorities. 88 councils and 22

other government agencies. The police, the Department of Health, Energy Australia,

RailCorp and the RTA to name

just a few. The list of accused

authorities is so long the commission isn't even

attempting to hear evidence

from all of them. It's selected

the 15 alleged worst offenders

for this public inquiry. The ICAC launched this investigation after it

discovered two storemen allegedly defrauded Yass and

Bathurst council of $1.5

million. But still just the tip

of an iceberg. The ACT's new liquor laws

introduced late last year seem

to be making a difference

difference with a reduction in

alcohol related street crime.

But police are worried about

another trend. A tax on

officers usually fuelled by

alcohol or drugs are becoming

more violent. It was a sweeping assault on my say it's worked. The ACT

policing annual report says

tough new liquor laws

introduced in December have

reduced alcohol related

arrests by 22%. We need now to

continue to monitor the liquor reforms and go further. The

government hit late night bars

and clubs with higher licensing

fees which helped fund a 10 man alcohol squad. A visible

presence to deter violent

drunks. It's since bowed to

pressure to review the fees

which were criticised as high for smaller pubs and

clubs. We want to readjust

those liquor fees to provide

incentives for smaller and

safer venues whoo. While

alcohol related crime has decreased the report says

assaults on police have become

more aggressive and they're

still usually fuelled by drug

and alcohol abuse. This were 48

attacks against police last

year as well as 17 cases of

spitting. And while spitting

might not seem that serious, it

can lead to an agonising few

months as police wait for the

results of HIV and hepatitis

tests. Police do have a e

protect them. We need to ensure

that idiots who spit at police

and who take a swipe at police

because they've had too much to drink actually pay an

appropriate penalty. Next week

the opposition will put forward legislation containing tougher pen tease. Two standover men who

kidnaped a Canberra man have

each been sentenced to four

years' jail. A judge said they'd used their size and

strength to in-Tim date their

victim. But with parole and time already served, one of the men could walk free in less

than two weeks. The other could

be out by early next year.

35-year-old Matthew Massey and 32-year-old Fakatounaulupe Ngata held a man against his will at the Bentley Suites

complex in Forrest in 200 9.

The next day they kidnapped the

victim from a Kambah home in an

effort to recover a $40,000 drug debt but he escaped at this Manuka service station. The judge said no weapons or

violence were used but:

And the judge said he was satisfied Fakatounaulupe Ngata

proffer eyeded muscle when he helped a Canberra underworld gang leader

gang leader hold a man against

his will overnight in a house

in Kambah in another attempt to recover a debt. Fakatounaulupe

Ngata threatened the victim

with violence, said he'd set a

dog onto him and then made a

veiled threat to kill him by

putting a pillow case over his

head. He told the victim:

Both men received non-parole

sentences of less than three years, disappointing prosecutor

John Lundy, who'd asked the

judge to impose substantial

prison terms. But the standover

men were clearly pleased.

Matthew Massey hugged his barrister while Fakatounaulupe Ngata taunted police in the

courtroom. Because both men

have already spent 2.5 years in

jail awaiting trial, Matthew

Massey could be released on

parole in less than two weeks' time. Fakatounaulupe Ngata

would be eligible for parole in March next year. Victoria's regional transport operator V-Line has offered

counselling to the train

driver, conductors and

passengers who were on board the train which the train which struck two children outside Ballarat

yesterday. The 3-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl had

wandered into path of an

express train passing through

their home town of Wallace. The

boy is critical but the girl is stable. Neighbours say the children were playing in a

fenced backyard but got out

while their parents weren't that captured global headlines.

With lurid details of sex games

gone wrong, drug dealing and

drunken foreign students. Now

there's been a dramatic

courtroom sequel. An Italian

judge today freed American Amanda Knox and her former

boyfriend after acquitting them

of murder and sexual assault.

The two spent four years in

jail pro testing their

innocence as Philip Williams reports. For four years, Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend

Raffaele Sollecito protested their innocence and finally , the nightmare the nightmare was about to end. Both the defendants for A,

B, C and D are acquitted

because they have not committed

the crime. Amanda Knox and

Raffaele Sollecito are being

freed. It was all too much for

Amanda Knox. These were tears

of utter joy and relief.

Instead of going back to jail,

soon she'd be going home. Her family's long campaign to her was over. We're thankful

that this night flare is over.

Amanda has suffered for four years for a crime she didn't

commit. But for the

the murder ed British student Meredith Kercher more questions, more pain. The whole

process a reminder of the

terrible ordeal Meredith suffered. I think what everyone

needs to remember is that the brutality of what actually happened that night and ... Everything that Meredith must've felt that night, everything she went through,

the fear and the terror and not

knowing why. The court

dismissed DNA evidence the

prosecution said was knife and a bra clip that linked the pair to the murder.

Amanda Knox always said she'd

with her boyfriend at his house

on the night of the savage killing. In her final plea

before the decision, she said

she was not the devil portrayed

by the prosecution. I haven't

done what they done what they have suggested I

did. I did not kill, I did not

rape, I did not steal, I wasn't

there. Amanda Knox is heading home to Seattle as soon as

possible. Far away from the

horror that engulfed her life.

If not for this decision, she

would now be facing another 22

years in an Italian prison.

Fighting has n intensified

in Muammar Gaddafi's home town

of Sirte. As the battle for control end game. end game. Interim government

forces are finally advancing

into the city after being pinned down for weeks by

artillery and rocket fire. They captured one of Sirte's southern districts but were

held back from the city centre

by Gaddafi loyalists. A two day

ceasefire allowed many

residents to flee . But aid agencies are agencies are concerned about civilians still trapped in the

besieged city. The man

convicted of the Lockerbie bed in Tripolis are playing down his involvement and predicting the truth will soon be revealed. Abdel Baset

al-Megrahi was convicted of bombing a Pan Am plane in 1988,

killing 270 people. He was

released from jail two years

ago and sent back to Libya on

compassionate grounds suffering cancer. Al-Megrahi denies

harming anyone, and says his work

work was simply administrative.

He says new facts about the

case will be released in months. Melbourne researchers

have isolated a gene linked to osteoarthritis and say the

discovery is likely to lead

discovery is likely to lead new

treatments. The same gene is implicated in the transmission

of pain, raising the prospect

of new therapies for chronic

pain relief as well. Ian Begg

lives with one of the rarest

forms of arthritis. Familial

digital arthropy bracodactaly .

It forms in early childhood and It forms in early childhood and

results in deformed hands and feet. A couple of feet. A couple of the family members, their hands don't

close properly. But I can do

most things. Scientists at Melbourne's Murdoch Children's

Research Institute first

identified and named the disease about a decade ago. Then they identified the gene

which caused it and found it

wasn't rare at all. This was

the first time that this gene arthritis. We were really excited about that. Because

although these families are rare, arthritis is a really

common disease. So common, at

least 3 million Australians are sufferers. But now the gene's

identified a new therapy may be

available over coming years. We

obviously have a lot of work to

do before we get to that point. Down the track my

grandchildren and their

children, it will definitely help them and that's a big

bonus. And as an added bonus

the gene could also help in the treatment of chronic pain. This

molecule

in terms of pain transmission.

We don't know much about it yet but certainly the pain of

arthritis, the molecule may be

involved as well. So there are many forms many forms of painful arthritis

and other painful chronic conditions such as cancer. We

really don't know the role that

this molecule plays. What is

known is that the gene is also

important in nerves. And could hold the hold the key to stopping pain

travelling through the body.

The Nobel Committee has broken its own rules awarding the prize for medicine dead man. The prize was given

to three men, including Canadian scientist Ralphe

Steinman, who unbeknown to the Nobel Committee died last week from pancreatic from pancreatic cancer cancer.

The 68-year-old used his own

research on immunology to keep

himself alive for the past few

years. I think this one he

might've really jumped up in

the air. I think this was the one that really would've

knocked his socks off. It's

just so sad he's not able to do

that. The Nobel Prize rules

forbid posthumous awards but

the committee has decided the circumstances justify Steinman remaining a Nobel laureate. While there While there was little agreement reached today at the

tax forum in Parliament, another taxation proposal in

another part of Canberra got a

mostly positive reception A leading American food policy

expert suggested a 20% tax on

soft drinks could be a key

weapon against obesity. Soft drink, pop. Whatever the name, they

have one thing in common. There are completely empty calories.

Professor Kelly Brownell is an expert in food policy and

obesity at Yale University. He

says waistlines are growing in

line with a worldwide obsession

with sugary drinks. The

research linking soft drink consumption to risks for

obesity and diabetes is

stronger than it is for any

other category of food, even

fast food. He wants US and

Australian Governments to get

tougher on obesity and says 20% price hike on soft drink is

a good place to start. The

economic estimates are that a

tax in about the range of a

penny per ounce penny per ounce of sugar beverage would have a significant impact on

consumptions of those beverages and therefore improve health. Australian experts have

applauded his proposal. They're

the kinds of strategies that

occur at a population level. We need population-level

strategies if we're going to

overcome population-level

problems. But some

psychologists warn the causes of sitting parallel to eating

disorders and body image

concern. It's a real dilemma because children are getting

bigger and and the overweight

issue is becoming prevalent but

children are more concerned

about their body image at the

same time. The food and grocery industry questions the relevance of the US-based

research. The amount of sugar

that Australians have consumed

has decreased by 20% since the 70s at a time when obesity has doubled. Professor Brownell

will spend the next few weeks travelling the country to

spread his idea. To spread his idea. To finance

now. The Australian dollar fell

below 95 US cents today for the

first time in 12 months. The US

currency continues to soar on

global foreign exchange

markets. Here's a chart of the

US dollar trade-weighted index.

It's taken off since 1 September because international funds are into US Government bonds for

safety. That's resulted in the

two year US Treasury note now

paying an interest rate of

0.2%, virtually nothing. The 10

year rate is 1.78%. Anyway the

US dollar index has gone up 8

ministers in a month, and the

Australian dollar has fallen

12%. So three quarters of the

Australian dollar's fall is due

to the rising greenback and the

rest is a combination of

falling commodity prices and

the expectation that interest

rates here will be cut. And in

the futures market the odds on

a rate cut are now 50/50. This survey of sales expectations shows

expectations shows that most

retailers don't expect a happy

Christmas. And that's finance. The timing couldn't have A-League season launch, the

Newcastle Jets sacked their

coach Branko Culina. The club

applied to terminate the

contract of his son Socceroo

midfielder Jason Culina. This

was supposed to be a feel-good

day for A-League. A lavish

season launch ahead of matches

this weekend, one that will

feature stars Brett Emerton and

Harry Kewell. Branko Culina was

among the guests at this

morning's event apparently unaware of unaware of the rumblings within

the nction jets. He was upbeat

about his team's prospects. We

have a lot of stability. have a lot of stability. We

haven't brought in too many new

faces. We believe in what we've

got. One of those unavailable

players is his injured son

Jason Culina. Just hours after

the launch, both father and son

were sacked. Jason Culina's

knee injury has ruled him out

foreseeable future. Now the of competition in the

Jets have applied to Football

Federation Australia to have

the Socceroos midfielder's

contract set aside. People

contract set aside. People come and go at football clubs. We've

got a game in four days. And

that's our priority at the moment. Hunter Valley

businessman Nathan Tinkler

bought the Newcastle Jets last bought the Newcastle Jets last season, effectively rescuing

the club from financial oblivion. In a statement, he

acknowledged the difficult

timing of the announcement, but

said he supports management's

appointed youth coach and decision. The

former Perth Glory defender

Craig Deans as an interim

replacement. I found out at 12

o'clock today and about to take

a training session and life goes on. Keen to boost dwindling crowds this dwindling crowds this is an

unwanted distraction for the A-League. Officials would

prefer fans to focus on the

star power of the Emerton and

Kewell instead of off-field

drama.

complex The world's biggest and most

been reaching deep into the

heavens. Based in northern

Chile the series of 66 moveable radio telescopes has already

captured images of two

captured images of two galaxies colliding. Scientists have

called this a new golden age of

astronomy. The Atakama desert on the edge of the Andes

mountains. It's remote,

desolate but the air is thin

and the skies are clear.

Perfect for looking at the

stars. We are so excited

historic because we're living in an

particularly for astronomy .

These moveable radio telescopes particularly for astronomy .

have been called the ALMA.

means sold in span yirk.

Scientists plan to look deep

into the universe. Alma's

already captureed this

collision of two galaxies, 70

million light-years away. It's

allowing new details to be revealed of the clouds that begin to form new stars and begin to form new stars and

planets. And it will also test some of early universe. In science,

it's no good just making up

theories. You have to get out there and make the

observations, test those

theories, and see with your own

eyes what really happened. The

radio telescopes can observe

wave lengths a thousand times longer than those visible

light. A long line of scientists are waiting to use

the new facility including Dr

Jill Rathbone who will look at star

around the world have come star clusters. A lot of people

together to see it. It's the

only telescope where you can

look at the size and location

and the motion of these individual pieces. The first

of the heavens is under way, of hundreds of investigations

with Alma expected to be fully

year. operational by the end of next

To the weather now. Alas our expert Mark Carmody can't join

us tonight. The weather was

simply too good for him to venture

what a splendid blue-sky day we

had. Great for gardening.

A cloud band extending across South Australia into Central Australia is associated

with a trough of low pressure.

Low-level cloud over the

Wales is due to an onshore easterly stream. A

high-pressure system centred

near Tasmania extending a ridge

along the New South Wales coast will maintain fine conditions

in the region until tomorrow. A

trough of low pressure will

move into the region tomorrow

night, bringing patchy rain on

Thursday. Isolated showers will

persist on Friday and through the

Our top story. The Reserve

Bank has left the door ajar for

an interest rate cut by

Christmas after keeping rates

for now. Next up 7.30 looks at the Labor Party's dire

electoral fortunes and what if

anything can turn them around.

Thanks for your company.

Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned

Live. Welcome to the bram I'm

Leigh Sales. Tonight - the

pressure to find a solution to Australia's taxation time

bomb. We have got a fiscal

crisis looming over the next 40

years. This is gorgeous. Home bought nothing new for a

year. In total I'm thinking we

saved about 10,000. Second hand

does not mean second rate. Well

the 2-day tax summit is

certainly generating a lot of

talk in Canberra but don't

expect it to deliver any

immediate action. Labor agreed

to the event as part of a deal

with the Independent Rob

Oakeshott to form government

and while it's happy to let

everyone have a say, it's not giving any commitment to disagreements about just what act. There are lots of

should be done but the