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Gaz feels the heat as smoke

in the cockpit forces a flight to turn around. Aung San Suu

Kyi woos the crowds and worries

the generals. Do smaller class sizes guarantee better

students? And cricket's new front-line against the old

enemy. If it happens, it will

happen. If I play for Australia.

Good evening. Welcome to ABC News. I'm Virginia Haussegger.

For the 4th time in two weeks

Qantas is having to explain a

mid-air emergency. This time a

flight heading to Argentina was forced to turn back because of smoke in the

cockpit. The series of recent

mishaps is turning into a

public relations nightmare for

the company. Another day,

another drama for Qantas. The

latest safety concern involves

this Boeing 747. There were 200

passengers on board and smoke

in the cockpit. It is believed

there was a faulty part in the

selection panel of the cockpit.

There was some occurrences of

smoke in the cockpit which the

pilot indicated to passengers

on return. The electrical

problem happened one hour into a flight from Sydney to Buenos

Aires. The pilots began using

plane around and dumped fuel on oxygen masks and

approach back to Sydney. I approach back to Sydney. I can

tell you you hold your loved

closers you come in. Upon ones a little tighter and

landing the plane was met by

fire engines on the tarmac.

Passengers were given meal

vouchers to use as

inspected the aircraft. We do

not expect the aircraft to be grounded. Engineers will turn

it around fairly soon. A

replacement flight using a

different plane left Sydney a

short time ago. It's the 4th

Qantas incident since an engine

on an A380 super jumbo exploded

near Singapore 18 days ago.

Experts say the problems will

undoubtedly take a toll. Every

time this kind of thing gets

the media exposure it does, it

does have an impact on their brand. But Qantas says the

airline is still safe to fly. The freed Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi has

offered a hand of conciliation

to the junta that kept her prisoner for almost two

decades. She says sitting down

for talks with the regime will

lead to democracy for her country, then she country, then she is killing to try. After spending 15 of the

last 21 years under house

arrest, she's wasted no time

setting out her agenda. By

speaking out she risks being

arrested again, but she's told

the ABC that she must do her

duty for her people. South-East

Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel

reports. She's been arrested

almost three times, detained for

almost two decades and yet Aung

San Suu Kyi won't be silenced.

In Burmese she addresses her

supporters. Her message - that

only dialogue will achieve

change. TRANSLATION: I will not only work with my

not only work with my party, I

all democratic forces. She told all want to work hand in hand with

the Burmese people that courage

and persistence will pay off.

Despite her time under house

arrest, she is still defiant.

Now there is also an air of

conciliation. In a chaotic press conference, she offered

to meet with Burma's leaders.

I'm sorry I'm late. She's spoken with international

diplomats and she says she will

meet with anyone who can help Burma move from a military

state to functional democracy.

She also wants unity in her

own splintered opposition party.

Once again overnight

displaced people have fled into Thailand due to fighting

between the Burmese military

and ethnic groups. Repression

one of the key tactics of the

that must change. junta and Aung San Suu Kyi says

In an interview with the ABC,

Aung San Suu Kyi Aung San Suu Kyi said the risk of rearrest won't keep her

quiet because there is too much

that she wants to do and that's

her duty to the people of

Burma. She says while she was imprisoned, support from the

outside helped keep her

strong. Thank you very much and

my very warmest thanks to the

people of Australia for all

that they have done for

us. Silent for so long, the

lady of Burma has her voice

back and she plans to use it. Julia Gillard returned from

Korea and Japan today to a

prickly exchange in Parliament.

Tony Abbott accused her 2-month-old Government of losing its way. She accused him

of toddler tantrums. Political

correspondent Greg Jennett

reports. An all-night express

from Asia brought a gloomy

homecoming and a hostile

reception. I remind the PM of her statement in June that the

Government had lost its way. I

ask the PM when does she expect

to find her way. He is showing all of the political

maturity of a 2-year-old in a

tantrum after the election. When will the

already Government find its way. He has

already set his mind to wreck

what he can. Broadband, boats and banks were the pressure points. It's time we stopped

the banks profiteering at the

expense of their customers. The

Greens' bill would control

interest rate movements and ATM

fees. It coincides with the Commonwealth's bumper cash

earnings of $1.6 billion for

the first quarter this year. But rampant likely to be spared the

treatment the Greens have in

continue to store. What we will do is

continue to get on with the

to facilitate competition. business of reforming banking

This minister is less keen on competition. The OECD's raised concerns about the monopoly status of the Government's

National Broadband Network and

dismissed by Stephen Conroy. We the speed of its rollout. Duly

continue to press ahead with building the National Broadband building

Network. It is going to be a massively over-capitalised

Government-owned monopoly with

no competition. Determined not

flashy is how the Government

says it will finish the

parliamentary year and in

another three days the PM will

make a 55-hour round trip to

Portugal for a NATO meeting

before returning on Monday for Parliament's final week. Parliament's final week. The Greens hopes of repeating

Federal election success at the state level have been dealt a

major blow. The party was

considered a strong chance to

wrest up to four lower house seats from Victoria's Labor

Government at this month's election. And potentially

become kingmakers in a hung

Parliament. But that's now highly unlikely after a surprise decision by the

Liberals to preference the

Greens last in all lower house

seats. The Greens have been

bullish about their prospects

at the Victorian state election

ever since Adam Bandt's

historic win in the Federal

seat of Melbourne. The minor

party had been considered a

realistic chance of snatching

up to four inner city seats

from the brumby Labor

Government but a fortnight out

from the election that task has

become a whole lot harder, if

not impossible. The only chance

of the Greens winning is to get preferences from the other parties and the

Party will put the Greens last

on all of its lower house cards destroying their chances of

winning any seats in the

chamber. The party's candidates

are refusing to concede

defeat. The major parties are

petrified at the rise of Greens and they've got no

answer to it except to leap

into each other's arms and try

and keep the Greens out of Parliament. The Victorian

Opposition Leader denies his

party has done the 11-year-old

Labor Government a favour. If

Victorians want to be rid of

the Brumby Government they have one choice - vote for the Coalition. If the Premier Coalition. If the Premier was

pleased about the development,

he wasn't showing it. They will

make their decisions. You need

to ask them. They are not for

me to comment on. The extent to which the party preference

deals influences voters won't

be known until Victorians go to

the polls on the last Saturday of this month. Police are using interpreters to question dozens

of Afghans youths involved in a

brawl at a Melbourne detention

centre last night. Ten teenagers were injured

teenagers were injured and seven required hospital

treatment for minor

injuries. Brawl was sparked by a dispute about the use of

shared computers. The number of

people at the detention centre

trebled over the weekend when

98 detainees were flown in from Christmas

Christmas Island. The

immigration department denies overcrowding contributed to the

unrest. We are moving

detainees from centres as

required and on the weekend this planned transfer of 98 unaccompanied minors went ahead

smoothly. Unfortunately we had

a few incidents on Sunday

night. The department says it

is too early to say whether the

brawl will have an impact on the approval of the the approval of the detainees' visa applications. A British couple held hostage by Somali pilots for more than a pilots for more than a year are

on their way home. Paul and

Rachel Chandler were on a retirement trip when pirates

seized their yacht 13 months

ago. It's believed a million

dollars ransom was paid. For

388 days Rachel and Paul

Chandler waited for the day

that just never came. Until

now. Thin, tired but elated

the couple were taken to a

small town in Somalia, the

first staging point ahead of the long journey back home. But

the ordeal was far from over.

The fragile Somali Government

wanted share in their release.

Their plane flew to Mogadishu,

one of the world's most

dangerous places. Then an armoured vehicle ride to the

assembled media. Happy to be

alive! Happy to be free! Happy

to be here and desperate to see

our family and friends. REPORTER: Do you REPORTER: Do you feel safe

now? Yes. It's been speculated

around a million dollars was

paid for their release. The

British Government has refused

to condone the payment of any

ransom but this was an ordeal

the couple could not bear much longer. We refused to be separated and were beaten as a

result. Then back on to the

plane, a flight to Nairobi. One

step closer to the freedom of

family fraends back in England. And for the first time, safe at the British High

Commission. Good food, a bed, safety. Snatched from a yacht

on the high seas, traded as a

human commodity, but now just

one flight away from home. And closer to home And closer to home another

husband and wife have survived

a dramatic day at sea, rescue Friday their sinking yacht.

Dennis and Sarah Smith were

sailing to Fiji yesterday afternoon when their boat developed steering problems.

They activated a distress

signal more than 300km east of

Wollongong. The couple Wollongong. The couple spent

more than 18 hours on board the

boat which filled with water as

they waited to be rescued.

Water was coming in really


The couple say their days of

ocean sailing are over. All

the recent wet weather has

Canberra on target to record

its highest annual rainfall in

15 years. Since the beginning

of the year, 700mm has fallen

on the capital, almost double

the amount recorded during the

same period last year. The

weather bureau says if the ACT

receives the expected rainfall

for November and December, the

annual total will reach 800mm for the first time since 1995. It's been

for rainfall. We're up to 70

o-0mm, the wettest year in 11

years. The records will

continue to tumble. And the wet

weekend has left Canberra's

dams 89% full. It's a widely

accepted belief that smaller

classes improve academic

performance. But a controversial study has brought

the theory into doubt

suggesting that teacher

effectiveness not class size is

the key to results. The finding

by the Grattan Institute has been criticised by the

teacher's union and academics.

If these students are

anything to go by the Grattan

Institute study is on the

money. Despite having up to 34 children per class, St Francis

School in Sydney was ranked the

third best in the state for

literacy and numeracy. How do you spell Catholic primary school

supports the finding that a

good teacher as opposed to a

small class leads to academic

success. There is no doubt

about that at all. That is the

key element of why children

will do very well. We can all

remember the great teachers we

H the teachers that made an

impact on our learning. What I

don't think we remember is

whether or not a specific class

had three fewer students. The

study found that improving

teacher effectiveness would increase students' earning

potential, adding $90 billion

to the economy by 2050. A lot

of the money we've invested in

reducing class sizes in our

schools has been wasted and

we're better investing in improving teacher effectiveness. The report was

criticised for being carried

out by economists who have spent no time in a classroom. If you have large classes, problem

classes, problem students no time to individualise

students and standards do suffer. Manageable class sizes

enable teachers to dedicate

more time to individual

children to meet their needs.

It's a no-brainer. Not for Ms

Minogue who is more than happy

with her bulging classroom. They make no

difference whatsoever. From my

personal experience it makes

absolutely no difference the

size of a class. And there ends the lesson.

And still to come on ABC News

- a new world champion, but not

the one we wanted, especially

in Queanbeyan. Residents of an

Israeli border town are

embroiled in an unusual night

to stop their community being

caught in two. Under pressure

from the United Nations, Israel

is offering to hand back the

northern part of Rhajar to

Lebanon while keeping control of the south. But say they are not Lebanese or

even Israeli. Instead they claim allegiance to

Syria. Middle East correspondent Anne Barker

visited the disputed border

town for this report.

The sleepy border town of

Rhajar has for decades been

caught in a tug of war between Israel, Lebanon and

Syria. Today it's an Israeli

military zone, accessible only

to residents or those with a

permit. But it wasn't always

Israeli. Many who live here

were born as Syrians and later

became Lebanese citizens

without ever leaving town.

I've lived all my life here.

75 years. This man remembers Israel confiscating his Syrian identity papers after capturing

Rhajar in 1967. Then northern

Rhajar where he lives was

declared part of Lebanon until Israel recaptured it

2006 war in violation of a

ceasefire agreement. Today he

lives under the watch of UN peacekeepers . TRANSLATION:

No-one will take my land or my

house. But now Rhajar's north

is set to change sides again

under pressure from the UN. Israel is offering to give it back

back to Lebanon. A United

Nations panel ten years ago

nominated this street here as

the border and the UN says

residents on that side of the

road are Lebanese while their

neighbours on this side are Israeli. But the residents

themselves say they will always

be Syrian. TRANSLATION: All

the land belongs to Syria.

We're not Lebanese. We're not

Israeli. In New York this week the Israeli PM made a

conditional offer to withdraw

from northern Rhajar once the

plan wins approval from his security cabinet.

It's not very often that world's diplomatic spotlight

but that's exactly what is

going to happen as the country

hosts an international security

summit. It's a controversial

debut for the former Soviet

state, still criticised for its

human rights record as Norman

Hermant reports. Hermant reports. You don't

have to be in Kazakhstan long

before you see who is in

charge. Whether it's beside

the highway or inside a

roadside cafe, the image of President Karim Massimov is never far away. He led the

country to independence after

the break-up of the Soviet Union nearly two decades ago and

and has stayed in power ever

since. And if Kazakhstan's

leader looks and acts like some

sort of a Soviet throwback,

this analyst says there is a

simple explanation. Karim

Massimov is a product of the

Soviet era. A product of communist party of the Soviet

Union whose word as the leader is

is the only important

point. President Massimov and

Kazakhstan are about to be put

under the micro scope. Next

month the capital will host the

organisation for security and

cooperation in Europe summit. Kazakhstan's chairmanship this

year of the organisation, an

organisation that promotes

human rights, has attracted criticism. The PM says despite

Kazakhstan's less than stellar democratic credentials in the

past, the country welcomeses

the focus on its human rights

record. From my personal point

of view as a PM, this is a good opportunity for us. As

Kazakhstan's oil, gas and

mineral wealth grows, so do the concerns about what happens

next. What Kazakhstan does

have is living standards are rising fast. The economy is

surging ahead. So far the political system is struggling

to keep up. To finance now and

AMP has launched a new $13 billion takeover bid its rival,

AXA. Both companies' shares were higher. The Australian

dollar continued to slide.

Here's Alan Kohler. For a

while NAB had the running in

courting AXA until the ACCC put

the kybosh on it. Now AMP, the

original suitor, elbowed aside

by NAB's higher price is back

in the game. It's bidding the same price that AXA had

accepted from NAB. Now AXA is

playing hard to get again. But

the marriage celebrant is clearing her throat so it won't

be long. The other market news

today was the first-quarter profit report from Commonwealth

Bank, up 14%. When asked at the

AGM whether the rate was the last time CBA would

hike more than the RBA, Ralph Norris, the CEO, said he

couldn't say and didn't want to be accused of price signalling.

New lending figures came out

from the NBS and loans are

stuck at $50 billion. Down since the credit since the credit boom. The

lowest level in five years.

The Japanese market went up by

about 1%. Indicating a general

aversion to risk because of the

concerns about the debt

problems of Ireland and Portugal, the Australian dollar

is now down to 98.75 US cents

and falling. It's down about a

cent against the US dollar and

the Euro, even though all the

problems are in Europe.

Finally, this is a long-term

graph of the labor share of the

United States GDP. The workers'

share has been in a down trend

since 1980 but notice the huge

drop in the past few years since the financial crisis.

That's because US companies

have taken the opportunity to

really cut back on wages really cut back on wages and

increased profits. That's what

Wall Street has been responding to recently. That's finance.

Formula one has a new world

champion, but not the one

Australians hoped for

23-year-old German Sebastien

Vettel won the Abu Dhabi Grand

Prix becoming the youngest

driver to capture the title. Australia's Mark Webber finished third in the

championship after an early pit stop

stop left him well back in the

field. The podium bubbly didn't

have much fizz, not did the formula one season decider

until the young winner's emotions bubbled over. Thank

you boys. I love promised so much with four

drivers holding hopes of

clinching the world title ended as a Sebastien Vettel procession. The dramas

anticipated on the early laps failed to unfold. McLaren's

but but but slipped past

Fernando Alonso's Ferrari, but Michael Schumacher came to

grief on the opening lap. The

safety car kept a lid on the

field until lap six . Webber has to attack. Still 5th and

needing to pass to win the

championship, Webber gambled.

He hoped an earlipit stop could

lead to open space and the

opportunity to post quick laps. The tactic backfired. Traffic

will wreck Mark Webber's race. It helped present the

title to his team-mate, wary of

weather, Felipe Massa, then

Alonso, followed the Australian

into thepits. The frontrunners before the race the pack. There was no

recovery. It was left to Vettel

to lead home the Hamilton and

Button McLarens. What a

season! Yes! Tough season for

myself, for all of us.

Physically and mentally,

especially. 11 years older than Vettel, Webber may have missed his chance to triumph. We've

all led at different phases. He

led the championship for one

race. His timing is

incredible. There are months to

ponder what might have been.

The 2011 season starts in

March. Form and fitness

worries have forced the selectors

selectors to name an expanded

Australian squad for the Ashes

test. There are three new names

in the 17-man squad. The tough

decisions will come next week

when the quad is cut to 13.

Peter Wilkins reports. If the

selection parade was a trifle

wet, so was cricket Australia's

decision to name an extended squad of 17 for the opening Test in ten days time. I

personally like the squad to be

named as early as you possibly

can so you can get on with your

business of preparing. This is

the way it is. Instead,

tentative Test caps were

dangled in front of 23-year-old Pakistani Welshmen Usman Khawaja. If it

is meant to happen it will

happen. And the major surprise, Tasmanian spinner Xavier Doherty who will go

head-to-head with incumbent Nathan Hauritz this week. Nice

to be in the 17 but nicer to

make the next cut. We're

looking at whether a left harm

in Xavier Doherty is a good

option. That's a big decision

to make. Numbers will be trimmed after Sheffield Shieldmaps and Australia A's

clash with England. The major

concern is there are a few guys

feeling more pressure than they

needed to going into this round

of games. That's professional sport. Callum Ferguson could

vie with Khawaja for a spot Steve Smith is in the mix, but

it seems the middle order will

survive. They are experienced

guys and have been in the

situation before. They will

cope with it well. I'm not preparing

preparing to fail. The pace

bowling stocks are generous but injury clouds hang over Ryan

Harris and the returning Doug Bollinger. Michael Clarke's

back is on the mend. I'll be

right. England was suitably unfazed. Whether they pick 12

or 17 doesn't affect us. It's

the 11 that turn up in Brisbane

next week that we need to look at. Phillip Hughes was one

floored prediction. The message

being with matches to play and

fitness to prove, stake a


Now if you are not good with

creepy-crawlies, look away. A

Melbourne businessman has

accepted a dare to raise money

for the children's charity

Varity. He plans to live with 400 spiders, 400 spiders, many deadly, in

his shopfront for three weeks.

He is accustom ed to roughing

it and is confident he won't be

bitten. The spiders can run

around during the day. They

won't have the opportunity to

crawl into my swag at night and saying a quick saying a quick hello. I have -

I'm fairly silly doing this,

but I'm not stupid. He plans to

spend the time writing his

memoirs and hopes his spider sleepout will raise around

$50,000. Now with a look at

today's weather, here's Mark Carmody. Thanks, Virginia. I

hope he has eyes in the back of

his head. As we've seen,

Canberra is on track to have

its best annual rainfall for sa

years. The highest rainfall

since records were kept was in

1950 when 1,065mm fell. That year 312 fell in March. So far

this month, which is on average

our wettest month, 58 has

fallen at the airport. So far

today, since 9 o'clock, the

north of Canberra and a few

suburbs in the inner south have

received about a millimetre.

A thick band of cloud

associated with a trough extends from Queensland NSW and that's what's generated

the showers and storms over the

last couple of days. The trough

will move further eastwards tomorrow but it is slow-moving

so there will be further rain

over central NSW with the odd

shower around here. With a

trough moving towards the

coast, Brisbane and Sydney will get more showers. Melbourne

will be cloudy, but should stay

dry. Adelaide will see

increasing sunshine and Perth

will be fine and sunny, 31. around the region tomorrow:

This is commonly called a

bottle brush. I know all about

that plant. You encouraged me

to plant them years ago and now

they've gone wild. That's ABC

News. Stay with us for the

'7:30 Report'. You can keep up

with the latest at ABC News

online. Enjoy your evening.

Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI.