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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. This morning - Kevin Rudd's education pledge, in our schools. more technical training

British Prime Minister Tony Blair. A sentimental departure for I did what I felt was right. Hand on heart, And Adelaide's poisoned playground,

treated in hospital. dozens of children Morning News with Ann Sanders. VOICEOVER: This is Seven

Welcome to Seven News. Good morning. Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd» the education debate has moved to reclaim billions of dollars by committing to spend

in high schools. on building trade centres Mr «Rudd» says for Australia's prosperity, education and training are important an economically conservative leader. promising to be

about the Costello Budget. There wasn't much Kevin «Rudd» and Labor would do Much more about what at the end of the year. if they win government to outspend the Prime Minister I did not come to this place tonight and I have not. Instead, for Australia's future. I came to offer an alternative plan is a $2.5 billion investment The centrepiece of his offering in the country's 2,600 high schools. to build trade training centres

those sorts of things, Carpentry, woodwork, metalwork - technology, graphic design - or information communications all those things. has to go to university. We don't think everyone is also a very good way ahead. We think giving a trade certificate Mr Rudd's also promised leaking water pipes, to start fixing the country's abolish some minor taxes in schools. and fund Asian language studies that I was most excited about The thing about last night

the next Labor Prime Minister was we were sitting there watching denied this country for 10 years. deliver the vision that's been Not unexpectedly,

think much of Kevin Rudd's offering. the Federal Treasurer did not for tax cuts, Mr Costello's own Budget increased child care payments for universities and a $5 billion endowment plan has been well received. With unemployment reaching a 32-year low,

the government is on a roll. with the Australian economy. Mr «Rudd» hasn't really come to grips I don't think he's done the work he understands the detail. and I don't think And so the contest begins. to convince Australian voters Labor's task conservative he claims to be, that Kevin «Rudd» is the economic will point to its record the government and its own vision for the country.

to discuss Mr Rudd's budget reply Joining us is Prime Minister John Howard. Good morning to you, Prime Minister. Like your Government, an alternative budget Kevin «Rudd» has delivered but targeting blue-collar workers. with a focus on education, the next election will be fought? Is this the platform on which

The next election will be fought on

which side of politics is better

prosperity able to guarantee Australia's

prosperity into the future. able to guarantee Australia's

prosperity into the future. The best able to guarantee Australia's

demonstration is what you have

achieved to date. The unemployment

figures shows a 32-year low in

unemployment. Young unemployment is

the best human dividend

the best human dividend and giving

people the chance of a job from good economic people the chance of a job from good

economic management the Government

has strong credentials. Mr «Rudd» says

has strong credentials. Mr «Rudd» says

he is an economic conservative but

he hasn't behaved as one. He opposed

he hasn't behaved as one. He opposed

budget in surplus, he opposed

industrial relations reform, he budget in surplus, he opposed

opposed Telstra.

opposed Telstra. All those things are Labor Party

are Labor Party opposed and blot it are Labor Party opposed and blot

out of your mind, the reality is

when it comes to keeping the country out of your mind, the reality is

prosperous, we are the only side of

prosperous, we are the only side of

politics that can be trusted. As you

mentioned Kevin «Rudd» unashamedly

says he is an economic conservative.

What about the big spending in Peter

Costello's budget? All the pending

Costello's budget? All the pending

in the budget is desirable. The

Labor hasn't attacked the spending.

Mr «Rudd» didn't offer any criticism

of the budget. That must mean he

agrees with everything in it.

is the first time in 11 years I have agrees with everything in it. That

seen it and that maops it is a

pretty good budget and all the pretty good budget and all the

spending items are regarded as good

for the country. You got to have a

balance. If you got a strong economy

you got to give the country dividend

by lower taxation and lay something

aside for the future and we have by lower taxation and lay something

done that for the endowment in the

universities. He has gone in another

direction to lift the ages for year

10 and 12. What is your plan on

education al training? We have

special technical colleges which I

announced in special technical colleges which I

announced in the last election

campaign. We invested almost $9 campaign. We invested almost $

million in vouchers for people who

are in the work force who have poor skills and

skills and they have been enormously

successful. In the last campaign we

had an $

had an $800 per head campaign for

tool kits and tax-free grant for

apprentices and on top of that a

voucher with $

fees. We voucher with $500 to help with the

amount and I fees. We have done an enormous

amount and I in fact put technical

education back on the political map education back on the political

at the last election when

at the last election when I announced that Australian technical

colleges - these are dedicated

colleges dealing with technical

English training and complement necessary

English and mathematics. We have

done a great deal. I am not criticising

criticising the spirit of what Mr

«Rudd» said on the

«Rudd» said on the issue but there is

a genuine debate whether it is

better to

better to have dedicated schools and

colleges rather than have a tech bit

in each school. There is a genuine

debate and I am trd what the

educators have to say about that. Do

you feel the Government is gaining

momentum? We

momentum? We are behind and I don't

expect there to be any turnaround

the polls for quite sometime. We are expect there to be any turnaround in

behind. We have been office in 11

years and people are always a bit

interested in alternative. The interested in alternative. The

problem Mr «Rudd» has is the capacity

to handle the economy. When you got

to run paid advertisements saying

to run paid advertisements saying you are committeecally you are committeecally conservative

it means the public thinks the

opposite. When you examine Mr Rudd's

record, he voted against

record, he voted against getting the

budget in surplus. How on inch

budget in surplus. How on inch with

that background can you say forget

about that and now I am an economic

conservative. Moving on,

conservative. Moving on, British

Prime Minister Tony Blair has just

Prime Minister Tony Blair has just

retired. What do you think his

legacy will be? The part he has

played in the fight against

terrorism. He has been courageous

terrorism. He has been courageous on

this issue he has not been popular

in his own country. He has been

in his own country. He has been

involved in difficult circumstances

in the international fight against

terrorism and he deserves to terrorism and he deserves to be

remembered for that. Thank you for

your time this morning. Thank you.

Tony Blair will end his 10-year reign as British Prime Minister on June 27. He made the announcement in front of Labour Party faithful in his electorate in England's north. Seven News correspondent Adrian Brown is in London covering Mr Blair's departure. Well, Mr Blair's day began in bright May sunshine,

but it ended in a damp squib. And that's the way some of his detractors are summing up his political career. That aside, though, it has been a day of history here in England - the end of the Blair era. He decided to put the last rites to his career at Sedgefield in the north of England - his constituency where his political journey began 24 years ago. It was a speech that was both defiant and defensive.

Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right. I may... APPLAUSE I may have been wrong - that's your call. But believe one thing, if nothing else - I did what I thought was right for our country. This was Tony Blair baring his soul. He is, of course, the consummate media performer in the media age

and it was very much a stage-managed departure.

Great expectations...not fulfilled in every part for sure. Occasionally people say, as I said earlier, "The expectations were too high. You should have lowered them."

But to be frank, I would not have wanted it any other way. I was and remain as a person and as a prime minister an «optimist . Politics may be the art of possible, but at least in life give the impossible a go. Mr Blair, though, also had a consolatory note - he said that he hoped the British people could forgive him. I give my thanks to you - the British people - for the times that I've succeeded

and my apologies to you for the times I've fallen short.

Much of his speech, though, was a role call of his past achievements in education and also in the health service sector.

But foreign policy is an area where he has, of course, a pretty strong track record. He took British troops into Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq and, of course, Afghanistan. And it is Afghanistan

that has very much overshadowed the final years of his term in office. As to what he does next - well, there's talk of a book and also some sort of humanitarian role very much doing what Bill Clinton has been doing. But he says for the next seven weeks, because he won't be going straight away, he will be focusing on the job at hand and that is being Prime Minister of the country he says he loves so very much. Two sons of a Gold Coast millionaire have been charged

with the shooting murder of a 23-year-old man. 24-year-old Jade Lacey and his 20-year-old brother Dionne

turned themselves in to police yesterday. Up to 30 detectives had been searching for them since the body of Kevin Palmer was found in a Nerang apartment on Sunday night. He'd been shot in the chest and leg with two different guns.

And a 22-year-old man is in a serious condition in hospital after being shot during an armed hold-up in Sydney's east. Police say four men armed with two firearms and two knives entered the Woollahra hotel late last night and demanded cash.

The victim was shot when he tried to hit one of the men with a bar stool. The suspects escaped in a small white car. An 18-year-old man has been killed and several people are injured

after two separate accidents in Sydney. The man died when the car he was in smashed into a wall and burst into flames at a car wash in Summer Hill. The 21-year-old driver is in hospital in a critical condition. And in Epping, six people were injured when their car ploughed into a power pole. Next in Seven News -

we go live to Adelaide for the latest on the playground poisoning emergency

in the city's north-west.

Private health insurance plays a big part in making sure all Australians are well covered for their health care needs. In fact, more than a third of all hospital treatments are done through private cover.

Just imagine what would happen if it wasn't there.

That's why it's important to keep the private system strong. To do this, we support privately insured people by giving them a rebate on their premiums - at least a 30% rebate for everyone and more for older people - 35% for those aged 65-69

and 40% for those 70 years and older. Helping cover Australia's growing health needs.

More than 60 children and 14 adults were taken to hospital in Adelaide

following a dangerous playground contamination. A toxic sticky black herbicide was pasted on a slide at a popular park. For the latest on the investigation, we're joined by Seven reporter Michelle Vella. Good morning, Michelle. How did this happen?

About 80 children, their school camp turned into terror yesterday

afternoon. About 3pm a 5-year-old

child was sliding down a slippery

dip and camea across a black sticky

substance. This sparked

substance. This sparked a massive

decontamination process. Some kids decontamination process. Some kids

who left before the flag was raised

had to be de con tame naited at the

hospital. What kind of harm can this

chemical do? Judging by an empty can

chemical do? Judging by an empty can

that was found by the sticky

substance indicates it is a substance indicates it is a

herbicide. That a toxic substance

that can affect the body's nervous

system and can go through the skin.

The symptoms are cramping, lethargy,

The symptoms are cramping, lethargy,

highly dangerous. Are any of the

kids experiencing those symptoms?

Yes, four kids were experiencing those

those symptoms and they were kept

overnight for observation. The rest

were in good spirits and given

were in good spirits and given a clean bill of health. The four

students have been released hospital students have been released from

hospital but the worrying thing is

parents have been told that in

coming days the symptoms can surface

and have been made aware of what and have been made aware of what to

look out for Do look out for Do the look out for Do the police look out for Do the police know who

is responsible for this

is responsible for this terrible

act? No, there is no legitimate

reason why the black sticky

reason why the black sticky substance would be on the slide.

Police have declared the scene a

major crime but they haven't

major crime but they haven't

confirmed it is a potentially

harmful herbicide. They are still working

working out what it is. It is an organic

organic phosphate. They work organic phosphate. They are still to work out what

work out what the substance is.

Thank you for that. I hope the kids are are OK. The Federal Government is looking for a loophole to stop the Australian cricket team touring Zimbabwe in September. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer met Cricket Australia officials last night. He says he's looking for a way to ban the tour. If there is some existing legal basis to stop it, then it's an option for us - we would stop it ourselves. Cricket Australia says it understands there'll be disapproval,

but it has a responsibility to the game. We're not operating in a vacuum here. We understand that there are issues and public sentiment around it, but at the same time, from our perspective, we are a cricketing organisation with responsibilities. The Government says it will pay the $2.4 million fine which Cricket Australia could be hit with if it cancels the tour. Jose Ramos Horta has won East Timor's presidential election in a landslide. The current Prime Minister has a clear lead with 90% of the vote counted. Final results will be known later today. Election observers are concerned supporters of the Fretilin party candidate Francisco Guterres could take to the streets in protest. To business and finance news now. Joining us is Sarah Percy-Dove from ANZ. Good morning, Sarah. How's the market performing in the early session?

As is typical our market takes

direction from event thaz occur

overnight. We saw the US equity overnight. We saw the US equity

market show some falls. The Dow is

down and the S&P down down and the S&P down 1.

down and the S&P down 1.4. The

market has sold off in the early

session today. It is down 64 points.

It is 6,

It is 6,992 level. It is the

companies like BHP that have taken

the fall. What is behind the fall in

the Aussie dollar? The share market.

Essentially there has been a move

Essentially there has been a move

away from the riskier assets. The

move away from that has seen the

dollar decline. We move away from that has seen the

dollar decline. We are currently at 82.

82.55. That is nearly

82.55. That is nearly 1% from the

overnight trading Thank you. Next in Seven News - our AFL and league experts take us through what's coming up this weekend. In the time it takes you to watch this ad, more than 20 children will die needlessly from preventable causes. every hour, that without help, struggled to survive. But the clock stopped for Levy... DRUM BEAT ..and life started to change for him and his community when he was sponsored through World Vision. is healthy and has enough to eat.

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The AFL's handling of the Ben Cousins' drugs scandal has come under fire from another star player. Adelaide Crows midfielder Simon Goodwin believes the league is inconsistent when handing out punishment.

Seven sport reporter Dylan Howard joins us with the latest. Does Simon Goodwin have a case, and what's the AFL's reaction?

I will get to the AFL's reaction in

a moment. You do have to feel a moment. You do have to feel with

Simon Goodwin. He is a

self-confessed problem gambler. He

was fined $ self-confessed problem gambler. He was fined $40,000

was fined $40,000 for betting on AFL

matches. This occurred earlier this

year as a result of an AFL

investigation. He has penned a

letter to the AFL boss Andrew

Demetriou questioning why he

received such a Hef think penalty

and then Ben Cousins got a league

and then Ben Cousins got a league

sanked punishment. He feels there is

a disparity. The AFL rejected his

letter almost instantaneous in a

strenuous and terse response and the

AFL lukewarm in their suggestion of

sympathy towards Simon Goodwin. In

other AFL news, Collingwood other AFL news, Collingwood

president McGuire has attacked

president McGuire has attacked conflict of interest. To the Garry

conflict of interest. To the Garry

Pert to the Collingwood Pert to the Collingwood football

club which is another organisation

which Eddie is the chief executive.

He runs the Collingwood football you

club and he has strenuous yesly

denied that he has a conflict of interest.

interest. That he used his con

interest. That he used his conflict

of interest in poaching from the

Nine's Melbourne boss. He was on the

attack yesterday. I have no problems whatsoever with the process. The fact that it was arms length on both sides for me proves to me that there was no conflict of interest. In fact, I don't have a conflict of interest when it comes to Nine and Collingowod. They're both my major interests, if you can have two major interests.

Looking at this weekend, and tonight's match features the form side of the competition?

It does. The Kangaroos certainly are the form side of the competition

having claimed big scalps in the

last two weeks. The first Muslim

player Bachar Houli, it will

player Bachar Houli, it will be great to see

great to see him on the surface. A

couple of big name scalps. They are the form side.

the form side. Get your money on the

Kangaroos. We

Kangaroos. We will see. Good to talk to you. This weekend's NRL round is the last chance for players to impress State Of Origin selectors. Queensland and New South Wales announce their teams for this year's series on Tuesday. Seven sport reporter Nick Marshall-McCormack joins me now. Blues selectors have some tough decisions to make?

headache. Good morning. It is a selection

headache. They got four candidates

but can't make a decision between

Kimmorley, Gower, Orford Kimmorley, Gower, Orford and Jarrod

Kimmorley, Gower, Orford and Jarrod Mullen. Kimmorley and Gower have

done it before and Orford is

knocking on the door and it could be

knocking on the door and it could be

his chance. The new young gun Jarrod

Mullen has a good step and a good

kicking game and has been the

understudy at Newcastle. He has to

prove he is over tendonitis when

they take on on they take on on Saturday. they take on on Saturday. Age

they take on on Saturday. Age and

lack of experience won't work

against Mullen. When I got my against Mullen. When I got my first

opportunity I was only 18 or 19. Age

is not a factor. I think he is a

fine prospect and a representative

player of the future and the

decision is whether you go with him

now or you wait a few years. I know

that we will make the decision and

we will pick the best possible

player who we feel will be player who we feel will be very

competitive and get the job done.

Tonight's matches will have two of

those candidates in action.

Kimmorley return frz concussion

against the Broncos tonight. It is

his chance to sway selectors that he

his chance to sway selectors that he is the one. Brisbane have a number

of players as well making sure they of players as well making sure they

can impress Queensland selectors, most

most noteably Shaun Berrigan who is

fighting for his spot on the bench.

Of course the coaching rivalry of

Ricky Stuart and Wayne Bennett.

Those two have been Those two have been feuding ever

Those two have been feuding ever since Stuart replaced Bennett. When

the Eagles take on the Eels tonight and

and really - as well as watching his magic around the

magic around the field, there's

another big sort of player we another big sort of player we should

be watching tonight and that is

Jamie Lyon who returns to

Jamie Lyon who returns to play for the Eels for the first time since he the Eels for the first time since

walked out to

walked out to play overseas. Two great games of footy

great games of footy tonight. Yes,

enjoy the footy. on Seven's Morning News. Stay with me here with all the weekend weather details I'll be back after this break.

Welcome back. to check the national weather. Time now on the tropical Queensland coast. Onshore winds are causing showers