Database driven news page in flash, how?

I am about to start work on my new portfolio site. Basically I have decided to do it in Flash completely and drop the HTML site.

I have started to get to grips with MySQL and PHP but have no experience of using it with Flash. What I want is a news page that is fed from a database. The information would contain html links. I would like to use CSS to format the text and maintain a consistent look. I could do with this in HTML but I have no idea how to do it in Flash.

At the moment my news page is fed through a text file and it’s akward to add in html links and text formating.

I dont really know where to start with something like this. can anyone point me in the right direction?

Also going off on a tangent, can anyone explain to me what XML is and how it is used in flash. I see a lot of major flash sites state that they are loading XML data, these are the sites that generally have the database driven news site that I would like to use.