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This Program Is Captioned Live by CSI Australia Tonight - reports one of Australia's most wanted terrorists has been killed in Syria. Also ahead - wild weather wreaks havoc on homes across NSW. Unfinished business - Michael Clarke says he's ready for another innings. And, diversity wins big at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.Look at this stage, this is what we talk about when we talk about diversity. Different race, colour, creed. Hello, you're watching ABC News, I'm Gemma Veness.

Australian authorities say they can't confirm reports that one of Australia's most wanted terrorists has been killed. Melbourne man Neil Prakash has become a high ranking recruiter and propagandist for Islamic State in Syria. Experts say if he has been taken out, it's a significant win.I come from the land of Australia...He's the Islamic State poster boy known for his powers of persuasion.My beloved brothers in Islam in Australia, now is the time to wake up. Neil Prakash, who goes is a former Buddhist from Melbourne. After converting he became radicalised and travelled to Syria in 2013.If anybody were to ask me this three years ago and tell me I'll be living under Sharia amongst Muslims I would tell them they're crazy. He's been fighting a propaganda war, repeatedly calling on other Australians to join him. Last year, a UK court heard he'd been in contact with a British boy who'd been plotting a suicide attack on police in Melbourne's Anzac Day parade. Now reports suggest he's been killed.If Neil Prakash has been killed, it is the most significant counter-terrorism operation to kill the most dangerous terrorist affecting the security and stability of Australia. If he did die, it's unclear where or when it occurred or whether it was the result of a military strike. The Australian Government can't shed any light on it either saying: Without Neil Prakash, IS will be short of one of their key recruiters. Social media accounts linked to Neil Prakash have been quiet of late. Australian authorities will be hoping they're never revived. UN brokered peace talks aimed at ending Syria's bloody civil war are off to a shaky start. The main Syrian opposition group has arrived in Geneva at the 11th hour after backing down from their threat to boycott, but it's still not clear whether they will take part. Here's Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill. The bombs continue to fall. These pictures are believed to show Russian air strikes on Syria's once thriving city of Homs. A quarter of a million people have been killed in the ongoing war in Syria, and progress towards ending the conflict is moving slowly. Last night, Syria's main opposition group turned up to the UN mediated talks in Geneva, which started on Friday, but they have not yet agreed to participate.TRANSLATION: We are here to discuss humanitarian matters first and if this happens we will start the negotiations. If not, there will be no negotiations. Before they join the talks, the group wants the Syrian Government to comply with the UN resolution on aid and human rights. Their demands include allowing people to access relief, lifting sieges on rebel-held areas and ending the bombardment of regions controlled by opposition fighters.We are ready to start negotiation, but at least we should see something on ground there in Syria. We should really stop these massacres against our people. The Syrian Government's delegation was there from the start. Syrian activists are imploring all delegates to remember the hardships people are facing in Syria. TRANSLATION: Your differences and divisions are killing us, you need to unite. The charity Midecins Sans Frontihres says 33 more people are in danger of starving to death in the town of Madaya. Over 40 have died of severe malnutrition, including six babies. They received food aid three weeks ago, but the Syrian dwovt is blocking medical supplies getting in and patients coming out.We know in many besieged areas, people are living off leafs and haven't had food in weeks. Six months has been set aside for the talks. For those in Madaya, that's six months too long. Back home now and to the severe storms that slammed into Sydney late yesterday. The destructive cell brought flash flooding, hail and wind gusts of almost 100km/h. In western Sydney more than 200 residents will be homeless indefinitely after they were forced to evacuate their storm-damaged unit block. Part of the roof was ripped off damaging top floor units and leaving lower ones without power, gas or smoke alarms. From the road you'd never know this Lidcombe apartment block had been hit by a storm. But from above, the damage is clear. And inside, it's an absolute mess. As almost half of the roof ripped off, ceilings collapsed and there's wind and water damage everywhere. Fortunately, no-one was home in this unit when the storm hit.It looks like a war zone, like a tornado has ripped the roof off. It's incredible the amount of debris. Roof panels ended up in the back car park partially on top of Ranny Harnn's car.I don't know what to do, I'm stressed. More than 200 residents were evacuated. Today, they returned only to be told they can't move back in any time soon, even on the lower floors.I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm going to go. Police have set up a command post outside the building, where they're meeting residents then taking them back into the building to gather belongings. Only one person per unit is allowed in and they're given 10 minutes to gather what they can. The block is owned by Auburn counsellor and developer Ronney Ouiek. He's been uncontactable today.It appears that the whole roof will have to be rebuilt. Potentially creating months and months of displacement for the residents and they will have to have alternative accommodation during that time. Properties were also badly damaged on the sournl Tablelands. The elderly owners of this Forbes Creek home had to run for their lives.About midnight my parents were in bed and were woken when the roof was ripped off and it started raining on them. Walls started to collapse around them. SES volunteers who've seen it all couldn't believe the punch this storm packed.It's sheer devastation. I've never seen damage that could just take the roof off a house and just drop it 80 metres on the other side. The wild weather that struck yesterday afternoon was quick and ferocious.Overnight the SES NSW volunteers received 1,000 calls for help. They responded and rescued over 20 people . The clean-up has been swift too, as the storm clouds gather over the State once more. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has rung the South Australian Premier to assure his Labor colleague his schools policy is fully funded. Jay Weatherill has questioned how Labor would pay for its election year promise to fully fund the Gonski schools policy.I've spoken with the South Australian Premier. I've explained to him that Labor unusually for an Opposition has fully funded its proposals. The Prime Minister has returned to Canberra ahead of Tuesday's resumption of Parliament. Labor will use the week to promote its education policy. The Tasmanian fire service is reassuring the community it is doing its best to protect the State's wilderness World Heritage area. 18,000 hectares of World Heritage wilderness has been affected by the fires. That's about 1% of the 1.6 million hectare protected area.Around the western edge where we had it previously untracked we've managed to be able to seize a window of opportunity in the weather and insert 28 remote firefighters with equipment. The Tasmania Fire Service says they're not moving significantly, and crews are making progress. The community is urged not to enter burnt areas due to the danger of falling trees and branches. A woman has died after she and two others were hit by a car in Sydney's inner west on Friday night. The trio was crossing the road on a green light in Strathfield when they were struck by the car. The 21-year-old woman was taken to hospital in a critical condition. Her life support was turned off this afternoon. The 37-year-old driver has now been charged with dangerous driving occasioning death. For many, a trip to the beach is something we take for granted, but for new arrivals it can be the experience of a lifetime. Today young refugees were given the chance to take to the water to build confidence and embrace Australia's outdoor lifestyle. As asylum seekers the sea was something to fear. Today these young refugees discovered it can also be a lot of fun. Up to 80 children and their families arrived at Greenwich Baths in Sydney Harbour for a taste of sea and sand. It was all part of a water safety program to introduce new arrivals to Australia's beach life. Many of them had fled conflict zones in the Middle East and northern Africa. Some got to experience the open water for the first time. Many took to it with ease, while others took a bit longer to settle in. Sports coordinate or devised the program with an emphasis on safety and strengthening cultural ties.The activities we run are based on the kids being active, having fun and getting beach familiarisation, that's important as well. The individual skills they pick up on the sand and the water it's great, but as long as they have fun we've done what we set out to achieve. Local residents gave their tick of approval.Doesn't matter where we're from, we've got lucky opportunities here and some people don't and it was great to stick around and offer our support to the refugees that have come here today for a swim. The message of tolerance also resonating with those who now call Australia home.I was lucky I came because I wanted to, a lot of people don't have that same choice, and it's very important that we all as a community support those who need help. Experiencing the sun, sand and sea wasn't the only thing these people got to do for the first time. They got a chance to taste Australian cuisine. Dozens more asylum seekers have drowned trying to cross from Turkey to Greece. The Turkish Coastguard recovered the bodies of 39 people, many children. Their boat sank not far from the coast of Turkey as they were being ferried the short distance to the island of Lesbos. Most are believed to be from Syria, with some also from Myanmar and Afghanistan. International agencies say 244 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean in the first month of this year. This week the first votes will be cast in the long process to elect the next US President. The Iowa caucuses set the scene for the race giving a farm-based State with a relatively small population a big voice. The renewable fuel industry is one group keen to be heard, with frontrunners on both sides of politics neck and neck. Zoe Daniel reports from Iowa. The corn farms of Iowa are dormant at this time of year, but while snow is on the ground, it's the season for politics.This year, I would say this issue more than any other is going to make my determination on which candidate I select. Mark Kenny is a fifth generation Iowan corn farmer and with a third of the State's crop now used for ethanol production that drives his choice of candidate.As the farm goes, so goes Iowa in a lot of cases. Under what's called the renewable fuel standard, oil companies are required to add ethanol, which makes up 10% or more of most fuel in the US and has boosted Iowa's corn industry. Republican front runner Ted Cruz from the oil-rich State of Texas is neck and neck with Donald Trump in Iowa, a State which can turn presidential campaigns. He wants to take away the requirement for big oil to blend and that's what's brought about the battle with big corn.I think God has blessed this country with enormous natural resources and we should pursue all of the above. We should be developing oil and gas and coal and nuclear and wind and solar and ethanol and biofuels, but I don't believe that Washington should be picking winners and losers and there should be no mandates and no subsidies whatsoever. I think there's a lot of folks who if they view this as a 2-person race and they see Mr Trump who is in favour of renewable fuels versus Mr Cruz who is clearly the most anti-renewable fuels candidate, there's a lot of people who are probably going to be taking a look at Mr Trump. This ethanol plant just outside Des Moines is owned by almost 1,000 small local investors. They're turning their minds to what an anti-ethanol stance could do to their industry's expansion.To me this is the benchmark issue that I'm going to use in the polls to decide which side do I caucus. I will not support somebody who's not pro-ethanol. The industry claims 50,000 Iowans have signed up to choose their preferred candidate at the caucus.I think ethanol is important for Iowa, I also think ethanol is important for the country. Any time the US can be self-reliant from its fuel and not be forced to buy oil from people who really hate us and who are sending people into this country to actually kill us, it's good for the United States. Agriculture was once the key issue for voters here, but there are now only 66,000 farmers in a State population of more than 3 million. As family farms contract and industry and demographics change. So if nothing else, these Iowa caucuses will test just how much power the farm lobby actually has. And the Iowa caucuses are just the beginning of a long process of discussion, debate and voting. The new president won't be inaugurated until next winter. The Screen Actors Guild Awards have contradicted the much-protested lack of diversity in Hollywood film awards by honouring several black actors. Also among the winners was Leonardo DiCaprio, who continues to firm as an Oscars favourite after taking out the gong for best actor. The SAGs are considered an indicator for success at the Academy Awards with members of the film and television union voting on winners. With this year's Oscars being accused of a lack of diversity, SAG winners included notable Academy Award omissions, Queen Latifah, Viola Davis and Idris Elba.I want to shout out to my beautiful children. When dad goes away, I think about you all the time. I love you so much and mum, I love you more. Despite Australians Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Miranda Otto missing out on awards 'Ruby Rose' won best comedy ensemble along with the rest of the cast of 'Orange is the New Black'. A decaying roof possum infestation and dangerously old electrical wiring sounds like a real estate nightmare. Believe it or not that was the condition of the Lodge before some long overdue renovations began two years ago. The revamp cost more than $9 million, but they might finally put to bed any debate on whether a new Lodge should be built. Thanks to its new tenants the Turnbulls, the prime ministerial residence looks like a home again.Come on in. The latest lady of the Lodge has embraced the history of the house.It's got the motto underneath of advance Australia, and I'd like to think that every single Prime Minister that's ever lived here has been motivated by the ideal and the dream of advancing Australia. It's often fallen to the prime ministerial spouse to outfit the Lodge and Lucy Turnbull brings a bold touch.It's an interesting thing, do you put a traditional painting in here or try to shake it up?She chose the latter, contemporary Indigenous art dominates the dining room, sure to be a talking point at official dinners and private parties. These rooms laden with stories, laden with the ghosts of prime ministers past.The chairs had the instig in a. I think these chairs are handsome. But lately, the Lodge had been groaning under the weight of old age with wiring and plumbing that's been in place since the Great depression. A $3 million fix-it job blew ut to $9 million as more problems were found.An enormous amount of asbestos, some undocumented that had to be removed from the house. The slate roof had to be replaced, the kitchen has been replaced and then do really important security upgrade work. Now with all the trimmings in place and the pillows plumped, this historic house feels like a home again. The Lodge was never meant to be a permanent place of residence for the Prime Minister. When building it they referred to it as the Prime Minister's cottage. The plan was to build something more monumental when time and money allowed. Of course that never happened and to do so now would be politically problematic. In a time of budgetary restraint, every cent spent must be justified to the public. So a home that was only meant to be a 5-year stop gap has housed prime ministers for 89 years, and probably will for many years to come. Britain's Andy Murray is just moments away from squaring off with top seed Novak Djokovic in the final of the men's singles at the Australian Open. Murray says he'll be the underdog in the match which is a repeat of last year's decider. Last night, Angelique Kerber pulled off a stunning upset to beat 21-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and take her maiden Grand Slam title in three sets. Damian McIver has the details.Angelique Kerber was the rank outsider going into the match against Serena Williams who hadn't dropped a set all tournament, but the German in her first Grand Slam final, it was her 33rd Grand Slam, she finally got through the decider and she really made it count. She played stunning tennis, really attacked Williams on both sides. She was undaunted by the power that Williams brought and in the end a thoroughly deserving winner. Obviously she would have been disappointed with how she played last night, particularly in the first set, the amount of unforced errors really hurt her, but in the second and third set she was right in the match and she would look back and think a couple of points could have gone a different way, maybe she would have won her 22nd career Grand Slam title. There was nothing throughout the tournament. She was dominant as she usually is and you wouldn't expect her to be anything less than that throughout the rest of 2016. Steffi Graf was the talking point last night. Serena Williams with 21 Grand Slams to her name, needed a win to draw level with Steffi Graf's record. Angelique Kerber talked about the inspiration that the German star brought to her game. She talked to the media early this morning. I was calling her yesterday talking to her and she was just happy for me. She was just congratulations to me and she was lake OK, you really deserve it and she was really happy that I won my first Grand Slam.Andy Murray may well look to what happened last night for inspiration, because if more recent results are to go by, Novak Djokovic is well and truly had Murray's measure, beaten him in 10 of their last 11 encounters and in the three Australian Opens the pair have contested including here last year it's been Djokovic who has prevailed. But Andy Murray has shown he's up for a fight. He was talking during the week he doesn't expect many people will they he can win tonight so there's no pressure on him. Novak Djokovic is trying to equal Roy Emerson's record of six Australian Open titles. It will be interesting to see, it's been an emotional fortnight for myrrhy. His father-in-law Nigel Sears , also the coach of Ana Ivanovic, collapsed during one of her matches and was taken to hospital and there was concern about whether Murray would continue in the tournament. He's also been waiting by the phone, because his wife is back in Scotland heavily pregnant. At this stage it appears he will be able to take the court this evening. Plenty happening off the court. Who knows, it might help take some of the pressure off, give him some perspective. He's been in four Australian Open finals already, and come up short. He'll be hoping for a different result this evening. Australia plays India in the third Twenty20 international. Head coach Darren Lehmann is positive about his return, despite not enjoying his team's losses against the tourists.I'm feeling pretty confident, I feel a lot better now and had some good care and it's been a nice relaxing week, although watching us not play so well hasn't been that relaxing. For Michael Clarke, it seems retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be. After just five months on the sidelines, the former Australian cricket captain has accepted an offer to play grade cricket in Sydney. The 34-year-old also isn't ruling out a return to the international arena. By his own admission, Michael Clarke's struggled with retirement f Spending nearly five months away from cricket I've missed that competitive side of the game. The end of last year's failed Ashes campaign, Clarke pulled up stumps averaging just over 16 during the series.I'll have one more Test and that will be the end of my career. He signed a 2-year deal with the Melbourne Stars, but took an extended break ahead of the birth of his first child. I have used the five months to allow my mind and body to reflect, to heal and to mend I guess. Obviously my back has loved the break. Just how far the retired Test captain can go is anybody's guess.I wouldn't put anything past him. He's one of the most passionate and hardworking and single-minded players I know. The reason I say never say never, my dad said to me five months ago, you'll play cricket again. Clarke last played a Twenty20 game for Australia in 2010. The world Twenty20 looms in March and today Australian coach Darren Lehmann didn't rule anything out.He's a pretty good player, his record speaks for that. As far as I know and I spoke to him this morning, it's just about playing that first grade game in February and see where it takes him from there. The only realistic path back to Test cricket for Clarke is at first class level. Today he said he'd be happy to give that consideration.If NSW want to speak to me, then they can - I'll be more than happy to talk to them. My focus right now is western suburbs. If I love it then focus on the shorter format. For now, it's one innings at a time. In the A-League, Adelaide United has continued good form and beaten Sydney FC tonight 1-nil. Adelaide's broken the first half drought. COMMENTATOR: With 3 minutes to go before half-time, the Reds have broken through. Sydney had their chances, but Adelaide held them off to take the win, and notch 4 wins on the trot. Melbourne City has taken out the W-League grand final this afternoon 4-1 over Sydney FC. City's Jennifer Beattie opened the scoring and that was all that separated the two sides, but Melbourne City scored again early. COMMENTATOR: Absolutely exceptional. The Scottish superstar is on the mark again for Melbourne City. Sydney hit back with a goal from Kyah Simon, but Melbourne sealed the win scoring another two goals before the final whistle. British cyclist Peter Kennaugh has claimed a break away win in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The second edition of the event attracted a high-class field which set out on the 174 kilometre circuit around Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula. A crash ended Australian Kaleb Ewan's hopes while in front a break a way group tried to steer clear of the peloton.Peter Kennaugh wins the second running of the Cadel Evans' Great Ocean Road Race. Laurent Didier and local cyclist Leigh Howard rounded out the minor placings. Tropical cyclone Stan has made land fall in the north-west of the country bringing damaging winds and rain. Low pressure systems and troughs across the east of the country are bringing thundery showers from Queensland through to Victoria.

That's the news for now. I'm Gemma Veness. You can keep up-to-date on the stories we're following by visiting our website. Stay with us, 'Australia Wide' coming up next.

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