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Live. Tonight - shock and war -

Tony Abbott steps into a political minefield. I've

given you the response you

deserve. He was looking for a

way to stop this unacceptable ambush. The ambush. The teenagers eating

their way to an early grave.

Egyptian protesters keep up the

pressure on President Mubarak.

And how the Tinman is wizardry. showcasing Canberra film

wizardry. I think Canberra

really has incredible potential, particularly with

filmmaking. Good evening.

Welcome to ABC News. I'm Welcome to ABC News. I'm

Virginia Haussegger. It seems

that in politics less really

prolonged silence in a prolonged silence in can be more. Tony Abbott's

televised interview has echoed

through Parliament and the

Liberal Party, generating talk

about his temperament and

judgment. The Opposition

Leader says he was maintaining

a dignified silence in the face

of provocative questions from a

journalist. Liberal MPs have

publicly defended their leader, but privately expressed concerns about the way he

handled the interview. Chief Political Correspondent Mark

Tony Abbott shoot himself in Simkin. You be the judge. Did

the foot in Afghanistan? The Opposition Leader the circumstances surrounding appeared to be talking about

the death of Jared McInny, an

Australian soldier. Later

accused of being insensitive,

the Opposition Leader was lost

for words. Okay, tell me,

what's the context then?

it's out of context, what is the context? (Silence) You're

not saying anything, Tony.

I've given you the response

you deserve. After that aired,

Tony Abbott found his voice.

He phoned the Lance corporal's

widow. She accepted he was

quoted out of context and coalition politicians lined up to support their leader.

Tony's leadership is absolutely rock solid. I think

it's disgraceful and the

Canberra press gallery ought to

get their act together and

this country, not dirt bag consider what's important in

reporting like this. Even the Defence Minister defended the reporting like this. Even

Defence Minister defended the

believe that anything that Mr Opposition leader. I don't

Abbott said he intended to

cause offence and he's made

that clear. But what about that

extended death stare? I think

that, you know, as dignified a

silence as you can muster is sometimes the best response to

what you think are out-of-line

questions. When I observed it,

I saw a dignified silence in

the context of what was not a

good piece of journalism. He

was looking for a way to stop this unacceptable ambush. The Tony Abbott was hard done by, Opposition certainly believes

but there are concerns about

the way he handled his

believe it raises questions response. Some backbenchers

about his judgment and temperament, with one telling the ABC it was a Mark Latham

moment. How are you, moment. How are you, Mark?

It's an ambitious plan to

indigenous and non-indigenous close the gap between

Australians within a

generation. Three years in,

the Government's official

progress report says some improvements are being made,

but the biggest aim of reducing life expectancy is but the biggest aim of all

looking further out of

reach. The goal s almost everyone agrees on and the

progress report says hall ving

the gap in infant mortality

will be possible, but it warns

halving the almost 20-year gap

in life expectancy will take longer. This is a 30-year

target. No-one thinks it can

be achieved sooner. Indeed, it

will be extremely

Minister's report says the last challenging. The Prime

three years have seen progress, with money poured into

improving policing, indigenous

the Opposition found the report health care and housing. But

very short on outcomes. I fear

that not much is yet being

noticed by people on the noticed by people on the

ground. For people like Dick

Brown, who lives in one of

Alice spring's town camps, any improvement is welcome.

The Government says progress on things like life expectancy

is difficult to measure because

the sensus is done only every

five years. There's a whole

lot of effort being put towards

start measuring it this goal and we now need to

properly. School attendance has

been falling in some remote

areas, but the Prime Minister

singled out educator Chris

Sara's mantra of keeping high

expectations. He says if Governments want need to work Governments want change, they

people instead of just telling need to work with Aboriginal

them decisions. It's been -

the thing that's been missing has enabled us to spend

areas and not see any billions of dollars in these

difference. A difference that

in this context means lives. Australian teenagers Australian teenagers aren't

heeding health messages to eat

well and get regular exercise.

The first snapshot of teen

health for two decades paints a

worrying picture, with one in four overweight or obese and

few eating enough fruit and

vegetables. These school kids

at Hoxton Park in Sydney's west

are having a healthy breakfast.

It's part of a school

habits and it's paying off. initiative to encourage healthy

I've noticed a bit of a

difference, maybe more alert in

class. When you're eating

breakfast of a morning, you're

more likely to get involved and answer the questions and stuff. But a new study of teenagers in Australia shows

many kids aren't making healthy choices. Junk food is popular and only a quarter meet the daily requirements of four fruits and vegetables. The overwhelming finding was

that one in four Australian students

students are overweight or

obese and we certainly found

that there was higher rates of

obesity in low-income areas. About

About 75% of obese teenagers

will become obese adults, and

the issue there is that they'll be more prone to chronic be

disease Leichhardt disease,

diabetes and cancer. While many

teenagers are active, more than

80% weren't engaging in enough activity to get health

benefits. Older stud yeshtss

were more likely to be inactive

and eat unhealthy foods than

younger students The findings

show some young people of today

will grow up to be the heart attack victims of tomorrow. The findings are a wake-up call for health experts. They say the

current generation of teenagers parents. may not live as

common. Almost half the students reported having a TV

in their bedrooms. More than

70% of students used electronic

media for more than two hours a day. The ACT's anti-terrorism laws are up for renewal, reigniting debate about the

controversial measures. The 2006 laws handed authorities unprecedented powers to respond

to potential terrorist threats.

The legislation was introduced

in line with Commonwealth laws.

The ACT Government says it will

extend the laws until 2016,

after detailed checks about

human rights issues. They'll

be reviewed again in five

years. It is quite clear from current security assessments

that the laws are still needed.

There is still a real and present threat of a terrorist

attack in Australia, including

here in the national capital. But the Greens want more more scrutiny of the laws. They are significant infringements on civil

liberties. They are invasive

powers and it's important we

don't just roll them over. They were introduced - the actual title of the legislation

is "temporary powers. Civil liberties Australia says the

powers are drastic and

draconian and have been subject

to token reviews. It's not over

yet. Hundreds of thousands of people have flooded into the heart of Egypt's capital upping

the ante in the long-running pro-democracy protest. Their

resolve has been strengthened

by activists emerging from

detention, with tales of

torture and intimidation. Mark

Willacy reports from Tahrir

Square in Cairo, the frontline

in the battle to bring down

Egypt's President. They swirled

around the square - men, women and children. Their undiminished, their defiance

unflagging. Some are even

camping under tanks, vowing not

to move until Hosni Mubarak

quits. We're going to stay, we're going to die. It's going to be to be another Tiananmen Square. Dal dal has returned to Tahrir Square, bruised. Like

hundreds possibly thousands of

other Egyptians he was arrested

by the secret police, taken to

a prison and beaten. What

happened to me, no, it will

actually make me

actually make me more

determined to come back here.

I want to get rid of the regime which arrests in the street. Many of those arrested say they weren't just

beatenment some say they were whipped with rubber hoses, burnt with cigarettes and also

had hot oil poured on their pants, tried and true techniques used by the security

forces in Egypt for decades.

Others bear the scars from more

public battles. Abbas lost an

eye. I'm staying in the

square. I won't leave until

Mubarak quits. Others remain in

Tahrir Square, clutching at the

memories of those they've lost. His 19-year-old the chest and killed, one of at

least 300 who has died. TRANSLATION: My son was

supporting our entire family.

He was a good boy. It's a great shame. Despite the

arrests, the beatings and the

killings, these Egyptians are

willing to risk all to finally

put an end to decades of ruthlessness and repression. extradition proceedings

involving WikiLeaks founder

Julian Assange have run into an

unexpected third day. A London

court extended the hearing

after being told Swedish prosecutors didn't follow

proper procedure while investigating the Australian investigating the Australian on

sexual assault charges. The

defence team also accused the Swedish Government of interfering with the case by

replacing the chief prosecutor.

We have seen a prosecutor who

has been ready to feed the

media with information, but has

been unprepared to come here

and subject herself to the cross-examination she knows she

cannot withstand. The hearing

will resume on Friday.

Russia's most feared militant leader has claimed responsibility for last

months's Moscow Airport bombing

that killed 36 people. In a

video posted on an Islamist

website, Doku Umarov said the

suicide attack was revenge for State crimes in Chechnya and

other Muslim republics in the

Russian Caucasus. There was a warning of more deadly strikes to come. Moscow correspondent Norman Hermant reports. He is

Russia's most wanted man,

Islamic militant leader Doku Umarov has already claimed

responsibility for a number of

deadly attacks inside Russia.

Now in a video released on Now in a video released on an

Islamist website, he says he

gave the order to the suicide

bomber who struck at Moscow's

Domodedovo Airport. Police have identified the bomber as a 20-year-old man from the north

Caucasus. TRANSLATION: I want

to show the chauvinist nation

that we can carry out these operations where we want and when we wont. And he has when we wont. And he has warned

the attacks will continue.

Doku Umarov is believed to

command as many as 1,000 men,

all fighting to create a separate Islamic State in

Russia's North Caucasus. Some analysts

analysts suspect he may not

actually be behind all of the

attacks he takes credit for, but

matter. Even if the Kremlin

were to say this time he is the

prime suspect. They recognise

his responsibility and they

assassinate him, it's possible.

Okay, but somebody else will

come, more young, more active,

more clever, and it will

continue. One thing analysts do

agree on, a difficult road ahead for the Kremlin. It

faces a young population in the Caucasus increasingly influenced by Islamist ideology. It seems the

prospects of ending this bloody

insurgency in Chechnya and

other neighbouring republics

are as bleak as ever. A man, a woman and their dog have

escaped serious injury in a plane crash in south-west

Sydney. The small plane

brought down powerlines as it

plunged into a suburban street in Smithfield, narrowly missing

a house. It landed in a heap just shy of just shy of this front yard.

Go like a bomb, boom. And I was so scared. Residents were

forced to duck for cover. That

was near the window, I saw

something pass, like a bird. thought what a big bird that

is. A plane, not a bird. Missing roof tops by a hair's

breadth and crushing through

powerlines. And then when it

was over my roof, I saw it was

more than a bird, and I look

and I look and I look and I saw

the aeroplane go down, down,

down, down. Miraculously, the

couple on board and their dog walked away from the wreckage with nothing more than a few

cuts and bruises. One brave

man came and ripped the door open, got the lady out, the man out and their dog. They were

taken to Liverpool Hospital.

Back in Smithfield, the pilot

is being hailed a hero. Yeah, I'm flames, actually. It could have been so much been so much worse. The ACT

Government says a new education blueprint will boost the local

economy and tackle the skills

shortage. The report from the ACT ACT education task force says

Canberra could become the

nation's learning capital. It

recommends closer ties between

tertiary education providers

and it calls for more sharing

of courses, a single portal for

study options and better links

with employers. We want a

really strong export focus

looking beyond just regional

NSW, Sydney and Melbourne, but to the rest of Australia and

indeed internationally.

Canberra is too small a place for duplication and competition

unless there's a particular

reason for it. So I think we

can improve student choice, we

can make resources go

further. The Government says it

will consider the findings over the coming months. Victoria's floods are causing a big spike in mosquito-born illnesses. The incidence of Ross river

virus is up threefold over last

year. As Danny Morgan reports,

health authorities are now

trapping mosquitoes to test for the virus. It's becoming an increasingly familiar sound

around Horsham. After a decade of left perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes.

They're rampant, everywhere. Aggressive, yeah. You can't

go outside, dusk or dawn,

without being attacked And with

the mozzies has come a scourge

more commonly found up north along the Murray River.

Started with the slight headache for a day or two and

then I woke up one morning with

a rash from my neck down to the

balls of my feet. Leonie Immediate believes she

contracted Ross river virus

after bitten by mosquitoes on a

recent trip to Horsham. She

says she's been struggling ever

since. I'm in constant pain

with my hand. It seems to be

focused on my fingers and wrists and wrists and on my right foot as well. Victorian Health

Department figures show a recent spike

recent spike in reports of Ross

river virus and balance ma forest virus. So far this year

there have been 171 cases, up

from 45 at the same time last year. In the Horsham region,

the number of the number of confirmed Ross

River cases has been steadily increasing. There were a

handful in November, more than

20 in December, and just over

40 in January. The numbers

have prompted the local council

to begin trapping moss

Keatingos and local health authorities are warning people

to take precautions. The usual

with mosquito repellants, also

wearing light coloured loose

clothing, long sleeves. Be

very wary around morning and

evening. Leonie Mead says

that's good advice. Hopefully no-one else gets it, because it's just not very nice. The

latest carbon emissions report card has Australia on track

exceed as 2020 greenhouse

target. The Federal Government

estimates the nation will

generate 30% more than it

committed to. The Climate

Change Minister says it's

another reason to introduce a carbon price. That's the

policy mechanism that's got to

be at the core of any effort in

Australia to reduce our pollution and bring it

down. But there is some good

news. Last year greenhouse gas

emissions from energy use fell

by 2% in the eastern States. We produced less We produced less electricity

from coal. That was the

biggest contributor. That was

partly because there was less demand for electricity, but

also we saw a shift to

gas-fired generation as well as more renewables in 2010. It's

the second year in a row that emissions from the energy

sector have fallen. To

finance, and bank shares surged today, after the Commonwealth Bank's profit report came out market to Bank's profit report came out propelling the local market to its 7th daily rise in

a row. Here's Alan Kohler. Well, after Commonwealth Bank reported a 3.3 billion six-month cash

profit, and, more importantly,

an upbeat outlook, all the bank

stocks jumped about 2%, except for Macquarie, whose profit yesterday underwhemed yesterday underwhemed the

market and fell more than 3%

today. Boral, on the other

hand, overwhelmed the market with a 36% increase in profit

today and the shares jumped 9%. CBA and NAB have both reported

in the past couple of days, so I thought I'd run a graph of

the share prices over the past 10 years. I have to say I was

surprised at the result. CBA

shares are up 82% in 10 years.

NAB's are down 14%. I think

it's partly what comes of owning banks in the UK these

days, they're led in the saddle

bags. Commodity prices were

strong last night, oil and

precious metals up strongly, as

well as the wheat price, which

was leading other food lately is to what extent the

rising prices are due to

financial speculation in

futures or fundamental economic

demand. Here's some evidence

that it's speculation. The

baltic dry index charts the bulk shipping and is a good

indicator of trade in commodities. The baltic has

fallen in the past few months

and is approaching lows reached

in the depths of the recession.

It's completely broken away from commodities. The New York

and London share markets rose

last night, but Asian markets

are trading about 1% lower

today. Finally, the Australian

dollar is slightly against the

US dollar and the Euro, but it

continued its recent strength

against the Japanese yen.

That's finance. In sport,

former Test batsman Marcus

North says the Australian squad

has the depth to cover the

absence of the injured Mike

Hussey at the World Cup. North says while Hussey's experience

will be missed, Australia will be missed, Australia is

still well placed to defend its title. Duncan Huntsdale reports. Living up to his

nickname, Mr Cricket was back

at training, helping his WA

team-mates a day after his

World Cup dream was shattered. Mike Hussey's former Test

team-mate Marcus North was

sympathetic, but says a fourth Australia is still within reach. I think they've shown

that throughout the series,

where they've had quite a few injuries but the younger players have stood up and done

the job. England batsman ohhan Morgan has been ruled out with

a broken finger. That's a

serious loss to us, he's been a

very influential limited overs

performer for us. The World Cup

starts on Saturday week.

Previous trips to Qatar had

brought four seconds and two third placings for Australian

cyclist Haussler. There was no denying denying the 26-year-old this

time in the second stage of the

tour of Qatar. Nice to get a

win in, especially after last

year, after things went so bad. A crash in last year's tour of Switzerland ruled France and national titles.

Still in the desert and a hot field will compete at this

week's Dubai classic. The

world's top three players, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and

Tiger Woods are grounding together for the opening rounds. The German Kaymer is closing in

ranking. It's nice to be there

and you have to work hard to

get there, but you have to work even harder to stay there. Westwood missed the cut

in Qatar last week. At lettics

Australia has targeted Perth as

a possible venue for the 2019 World championships. In World championships. In a

surprise statement, the

President of at lettics Australia has hinted the WA capital may also put its hand up for compliks. Perth is probably a chance for 2024, 2028 for the Olympic Games as a

bid by Australia and a World

Championships is something we

would certainly love to do. The

Australian Olympic committee says it's not a I wear of any bid by WA for a future Games. Australia's never seen an international cricket team quite like it. The Compton

Cricket Club is from Los

Angeles. Team members call themselves Homies and they

spend their down time enjoying

hip hop. They say playing a

straight bat has helped them

straighten out their lives. Nick Bailey reports. The refined surrounds of Melbourne

University oval aren't

somewhere you'd usually expect

to host a team called the

Homies and the POPz. While

bowling styles on display would

definitely be branded

unorthodox and skill levels

might need a little polish, the

basic principles still apply.

Line and leg, baby. Now in its

16th year of existence, the

Compton Cricket Club is the

brain child of British-born

film producer Katie Haber and homelessness activist Ted Hayes

with the aim of using cricket

to draw youths away violence in their

neighbourhoods. The etiquette

of the sport had a civilised

equality. It goes not just on the field but beyond the boundary into the family, the

job, the school. With cricket

mostly played among ex-pats in

the US, the Homies are the

first entirely American-born

team to tour Australia and while so far wins have been

hard to come by, it's of little consequence to the side. It

teaches you to slow down.

You've got to pick your shot.

The same way in life, you've

got to pick your battles. If

you're always speeding you're

going to run into a wall. In

cricket you have one out, you can't speed, you've got to

think first. In addition to

their feats on the field,

they've conducted indigenous

mentoring workshops, hip hop

music performances and

fundraising eventses for the

Queensland floods. If we can

get the basketball players, football players and other

sports guys to do what we

cricketers are doing, we can actually change the world. All in a day's work for the Compton cricketers. Hip hop

hooray. Getting noticed in the

movie business is never easy. But 19-year-old Canberra

director James Hunter has taken an important step in the

fiercely competitive industry. His latest production Tinman is

in the running for this year's

Tropfest short film festival.

He's hopeful a win could open

doors not only for himself, but

also for the capital's

cinematic. Tinman is an

artistic drama in an unlikely

place. The town of Burra is

the setting for the region's

hope in this year's Tropfest.

Burra is my family farm. So

it was sort of an easy location to get a hold of. Along with the setting, it's also a local

production and for all

involved, it's a chance to

showcase their talent to a

wider audience. We come from a

very small community and I think that's very restrictive in terms of being seen. James

Hunter is quickly becoming an

offscreen success and he knows a little help from onscreen

stars can only help his

blossoming career. blossoming career. Former

Canberra resident, turned TV

star, Rhys Muldoon answered his call for a second time. The

first time I worked with him, I basically agreed just because

he was from Canberra. The actor

concedes that was a leap of faith Thankfully it turned out

he's very talented and fine young director. Those involved hope

hope their success will open

doors for the region. I think

Canberra really has incredible protension, particularsly with filmmaking Great to be able to showcase local talent to the

national stage and even international stage. Tinman's no wizard of Oz, but Canberra's film community say

it's an important step on the long road to success. Good

luck to it. Now with a look at today's weather, here's Mark Carmody. Thanks, Virginia,

good evening. Another cloudy but dry day in the capital today, with the winds again

light easterlies at the

airport. They did freshen a

tad to 17km per hour this

afternoon. With overcast conditions and easterly winds,

the top temperature at the

airport was 24. When I arrived this afternoon, a colleague told me he could take a lot

more of these conditions. Well, unfortunately for him

it's going to warm up tomorrow

and there could be showers on

Friday and that's the first day

of the multicultural festival. Currently it's still a smidge

overcast. There's no rain

about and the temperature is

sitting on 22. We might not

have got any rain today, but the coast did, although wasn't much. Kiama and

Ulladulla both got 4mm and tops

just in the 20s. Goulburn and

collector reached 23. Yass was

sunnier than here and topped 27

after a minimum of 12. Around

the capital s today, after

heavy rain last night, it was sunny in sunny in Brisbane and it

reached 29. Melbourne got to

28, despite some cloud cover.

West of Melbourne, it was West of Melbourne, it was sunny

and quite hot, reaching 33 in

Adelaide, 31 in Perth. Cloud

is moving over inland

Queensland and is generating

scattered showers and the odd

storm and there's cloud along

the NSW/Victorian coasts. Some of that coastal cloud is being

generated by onshore winds from

a high in the Tasman and as it

moves further west, the winds

west of the range will revert

from being mostly easterlies to

being more nor-westerlies,

which will give our area a

sunnier day with warming

temperatures which may not

please my mate. But around Australia tomorrow, possible

showers for Sydney and Brisbane, a trough crossing the

bite will give late showers to Melbourne, but it will be hot

before that, 31. Adelaide will

be cloudy and very hot, 33. 36

in Perth, storms and 32 for

Darwin. Locally tomorrow, showers are expected from Wollongong northwards. The tablelands will see more sun

and it will be warmer. Yass

can expect a top of 30.

Griffith will be dry and a little warmer

little warmer than that, 34.

The trough along with showers might reach Albury. In

Canberra tomorrow, it will be

sunnier than today. The winds will be light and after a low

of 14 tonight, expect a top of

29 in civic. Sunrise will

29 in civic. Sunrise will be

at 6.31 and UV index will be

extreme. Then for the start of

the annual multicultural

festival on Friday there'll be scattered showers from late

morning, along with a forecast top of 29. Then top of 29. Then wet and 24 on

Saturday. As you'd know,

Virginia, crepe paper goes all

soggy when it's wet, but great

nyrtels flowering at the moment

love it. Thanks, Mark. That's

ABC News. Stay with us now for

the '7.30 Report'. I'll be back with a news update at

8.30. Until then, good night. Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned

Live. I was flabbergasted, I

couldn't believe the situation

that I was in. Tonight on the

7.30 Report - the homeless pensioner who took on the

Queensland police and won. The police should be honest,

reasonable and respectful, not

dishonest bullies. This is a

decision which has consequences for the community.

All these people were on

Facebook and Twitter. And how social media is shaking oppressive regimes around the

world. The weapon they had with

them is the new information technology, and they were very good at using it. Welcome to the program, Heather Ewart. A formerly