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Ten Early News -

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(generated from captions) Pram Good morning, everyone. I'm

Ron Wilson. And I'm Frank Coletta. Welcome to Ten's Early News.

Heading our news - For the pain and

the trauma that she - she's felt

out of all this, and the

embarrassment, I'm truly sorry. Is

his career in tatters, disgraced

rugby league personality Matthew

Johns publicly apologises over that group-sex scandal.

Double disillusion - Prime Minister

Kevin Rudd refuses to rule out an

early election if his Budget fails to pass the Senate. early election if his Budget fails

Astronauts on board the space

shuttle 'Atlantis' begin an 11-day

repair mission after docking with

the Hubble telescope.

Then in finance - not convinced -

economists cast serious doubt on

estimates the Budget will be back

in the black in five years.

Now we'll just kick off with a

brief check of the weather around the country. the country.

Brisbane - cloud increasing, 26.

Sydney, mostly sunny, 21. Melbourne

sunny 25 degrees. - a late shower, 17. Perth - a

Heading our news this morning - a

shattered Matthew Johns has

publicly apologised to the woman at

the centre of rugby league's latest

side, sex scandal. With his wife by his

side, Johns expressed his regret

about the incident, but insists the

woman consented to having group sex

with him and his team-mates.

Stood down but not sacked by the

Nine Network over his involvement

in a team sex session with a young

woman seven years ago, Matthew

Johns offered an apology. For the

pain and the trauma that she's felt

out of all this, and the

embarrassment, I'm truly sorry. But

then he shifted blame - the to the

woman. Morally, it is wrong. It is

wrong. I'm aware of that. But at

the time... At the time... The

woman was a willing participant in

what went on. It was unsavoury, but

police completely investigated the

situation, and there was no case to

answer. His wife Trish believed him.

Um, I was completely shocked. It

was extremely out of character for

Matt. I, um, was horrified, and

disgusted. And just shocked that he

would have even been involved in

such a thing. But he told me very

specifically every last detail of

his involvement in that actual

incident. And I believed him. How incident. And I believed him. How

could she, in going back to the

room with two of you, have ended up

being a willing participant in a

cue of blokes that foot of the bed

having sex with her? Well, at the

time, when we went back, I was

totally unaware that other people

were coming into the room. At the

from it. point that they did, I stepped away

And the statements that were made

to the police - it says that she

encouraged players to come forward,

and then she actually...

She... She said "Someone come

forward now - will someone hurry

and have sex with me?" Channel Nine

left the door open to Johns

rejoining their commentary team and

the Footy Show, but endorsed

comments by David Gallop that his

behaviour was unacceptable.

The Prime Minister won't rule out a

double-disillusion election if this

week's Budget fails to pass the

Senate. Mr Rudd also indicated

there may be Wiggle room on some of

the optimistic Treasury forecasts

he's been relying on. Right around

the world, treasureries are

struggling with the challenges

presented by what is the global

economic crisis -- the worst global

economic crisis in 75 years.

The Opposition leader will get his

return to explain just how he'd do

things when he deliver his Budget

reply tonight. Malcolm Turnbull

says he'll take a reasonable

approach to the Rudd Government's

second Budget, but insists the

deficit would be lower under the

Opposition. The Government is

hoping Mr Turnbull gives a clear

signal of which Budget measures the

Opposition will support in the Senate.

One of the key Budget measures was

the Government's decision to extend

and boost, rather, extend the boost

to the first-home owners' grant.

For analysis, I'm joined on the

line by property developer Peter Icklow from Monarch Investments

Group. Firstly, give us an overview

- how bad is the housing market at

the moment? Well, at the moment,

the housing market is mainly for

first-home buyers, and the lower first-home buyers, and the lower

end of the market, and as soon as

the price hits around $400,000,

it's very difficult to sell. It's

an extension of just three months,

but how important is this Budget

move for the industry? It's very,

very important. Because housing is very important. Because housing is

the driver of employment, and it

takes more than a few months to

build a house, and for the people

to purchase and organise their

finance. Finance these days is

taking - could be three or four

months longer than it's ever taken

before. It's extremely people that

Pete people have got time and that

they're not panicked, and that

there's an orderly aspect to the

system. Since the grant was first

introduced, is you seen a boost to

the industry? Yes. It's gone from absolutely no housing sales

whatsoever to a normal selling

market providing that you're

selling for under $400,000. It has

definitely had an extremely

positive effect. Since every new

house produces several hundred jobs

indirectly and directly, it's

extremely vital to our employment.

We are also seeing claims that the

boost has inflated house prices. Is

that the case? I deny that. House

prices have fallen by around about

30% over the last 18 months to two 30% over the last 18 months to two

years, and even with the activity

created by the grants and the boost,

we have seen no increase in prices

whatsoever - in fact, we are still

selling for less than cost, and

this is the big problem, because

once existing stock is sold, we

cannot replace housing at the

current selling price, and the

reason is that there's 10% GST paid

on every new house, and that's not

refundable. The other thing from a

political point of view is that

we're also hearing that it's too

little, too late. Do you see that

as being the case? Definitely not.

It's very, very welcome, if not for

the extension to the grant yrblgs a

whole new housing would collapse,

and that would be a disaster. I

think they've done a very, very

responsible thing, and I think to

phase it out over a period is also

very responsible. Peter, thank you

very much for coming on and

speaking with us this morning.

Investments Group there. Peter Icklow from Monarch

A NSW police officer remains in

serious condition in hospital after

being bashed and robbed on her way

to work. She was on her way to

Sydney's Kings Cross police station

when she was hit over the back of

the head to a. Her injuries were, I

would say, horrific. Very, very

serious. And she's in a serious

condition. The 34-year-old mother

of two underwent surgery at

Sydney's St Vincement's Hospital.

attacker. Police are still hunting her

The royal commission into the Black

Saturday bushfires have exposed a number of embarrassing

communications bungles. Day three

of the inquiry heard startling

claims that a television and radio

warning system was available, but

was never used. The aim of the fire

services was to provide the

information on a community basis

rather than an on a broadcast-area

basis The inquiry also heard more

than 9,000 000 calls were made on

February 0, and many of those were

devoted to Centrelink. The shuttle devoted to Centrelink. The shuttle

'Atlantis' has docked on the Hubble

telescope. The astronauts grabed

the 13m telescope for a close-up

look at the damage. Houston,

'Atlantis'. Hubble has arrived on

board 'Atlantis' with the arm. The

rendezvous more than 500km above

earth is the first step in an 11-

day process to repair the telescope.

This trip will be the final flight

to Hubble, and is costing NASA just over $1 billion.

Heading sport this morning dates

it's been revealed Terry Wallace

will front a Tigers board meeting

next week in a desperate attempt to

hold onto his job. The embattled

AFL coach has vowed to do

everything in his power to avoid

leaving the club on bad terms.

Terry Wallace is refusing to admit

his tenure at Tigerland is coming

to an end, despite speculation Sunday's game against Port Adelaide

could well be his last. Look,

there's not going to be a war or

battle here at any sort of stage.

The club has been really good,

supportive. I've got no issue with

anything that the club's done.

There's going to be no battle. It's

a matter of being men and just

being open about where we sit.

Wallace will meet the board next

week. He is determined to exit on

good terms. I had a really

unfortunate finish at the Western Bulldogs,

Bulldogs, and that, I know, cut a

lot of Bulldogs people very, very

deeply. But it cut me very, very

deeply as well. If you're given

your time over again, I would do

things completely different. The

Pies have plenty of injury concerns

ahead of Sunday's blockbuster

against the Blues. Mick Malthouse

at his cagey best when asked about

his long list of injured stars. I

haven't spoken to them yet. I'm not sure.

I'll repeat - till I meet the

medical staff, I'm not going to

start to talk about individuals start to talk about individuals

that I don't know about. Star Gold Coast forward Anthony Laffranchi

will miss Friday-night's showdown

with Brisbane after being suspended

at the NRL judiciary last night.

Laffranchi pleaded not guilty to

striking. His coach disappointed

he'd been charged in the first

place. You know, to be taken our

best players out of the game for an

incident like that... Like I say,

I'm worried for the fabric of the

game. And while there was a scare

at training for Manly hooker Heath

L'Estrange, the Sea Eagles say

he'll be right to take on

Parramatta on Sunday.

Let's check out the finance news

now with Frank Coletta. It seems

it's not just the politicians -

even the economists are little bit

concerned about this Budget.

Economists have cast doubt on

Government estimates that we'll

return to surplus within five years.

Treasurer Wayne Swan forecast a $58

billion deficit this year, but

maintains we should be back into

black by 2015. Economists have questioned the prediction amid

concerns the Budgeted doesn't go

far enough in stimulating growth to

drag us out of the recession.

Wall Street slid further on the

back of worse-than-expected retail

data. The major indexes dropping 2%.

Checking today's newspaper - the 'Daily Telegraph' leads with the

Matthew Johns sex scandal. His wife Trish

Trish revealing her shock and

disgust when she first heard about

the incident.

'Business Day' reports investors

will soon be able to short-sell

property on the Sydney housing

market. 'The Age' says women will

have to pay an extra $550 to have a

baby under a new cap on Medicare

payments in Tuesday's Budget.

And the 'Financial Review' says

Wayne Swan may increase Government

spending if the global recession

deepens, as he fends off

accusations of overly optimistic

growth projections in the Budget.

And still ahead on the Early News -

offering the right support for

single women - the new bra to help

hunt a husband! Stay with us.

This program is captioned live.

Headlines every 15 minutes on Ten's

Early News - could we be headed for

an early election? The PM refuses

to rule out a double-disillusion if

the Budget does not pass the Senate.

Breaking her silence after seven

years - I certainly wouldn't like

it to be my daughter. Matthew

Johns's wife Trish speaks out about

the sex scandal that's left her husband's career in tatters.

And in sport - Tigers AFL coach

Terry Wallace will front a board

meeting next week in a desperate

attempt to hold onto his job.

The Prime Minister has refused to

rule out a double-disillusion

election if his Budget fails to

pass the Senate. Mr Rudd also

indicated there may be Wiggle room

on some of the optimistic Treasury

forecasts he's relied on.

The Budget may be little more than

24 hours old, but the Government

spent most of it defending the

numbers it's based on. Despite the

worst global recession in 70 years,

Treasury projects a return to

strong growth in three years. But

last year's projections have

already been revised three times,

and now even the Prime Minister

concedes it may happen this time

too. Right around the world,

treasureraries are struggling with

the challenges presented by what is

the worst global economic crisis in

three-quarters of a century.

Forecasting is a difficult tool to

use to predict the kind of things

that this Government is, in fact,

saying will happen. Their growth

forecasts just seem to be completely unrealistic. While the

Opposition has also attacked the

size of the Budget deficit, it real

test ilual come tonight when

Opposition the Opposition leader

deliver his official reply, many

wondering when if he'll spell out a

number for what his deficit will be.

Away from the political battlefield,

the largest boost to the pension in

the living memory hit the right

note with pensioners. In trade-off,

the pension age was raised to 65 to

67. If it's to help the nation out,

so be it. That's only if it's pased

in the Senate. If not, the Prime

Minister refused to rule out an

early double-disilution for the

election. More for the Prime

Minister to dance around in the months ahead.

Rugby league personality Matthew

Johns has apologised to the woman

involved in a group-sex session

with a Cronulla Sharks team seven

years ago. After meeting with

Channel Nine management yesterday,

Johns and wife Trisha appeared on

the network's current-affairs

program to discuss the incident. He

said the woman was a willing

participant, but apologised for his

actions. For the pain and trauma

that she's felt out of all this,

and the embarrassment, I'm truly

sorry. Knowing all of the

information that I do is that his

greatest crime is actually being

unfaithful to me as his wife. And I unfaithful to me as his wife. And I

feel that it's only for me to judge

him on that. Johns has been stood

down by the Nine Network and from

his assistant-coaching role with the Melbourne Storm.

Day three of Victoria's bushfire

royal commission has left the royal commission has left the

state's emergency services chief

red-faced. The inquiry heard claims

that a television and radio warning

system was available, but was never used.

For cyclone-ravaged states, this is

a familiar sound - (SIREN WAILS)...

In Victoria, though, the state

emergency warning system wasn't

used on the day it was needed most

- authorities say the conditions

didn't justify it. It's a balance

between not overusing the symbol,

or the sound, and therefore

desensitising the community to its importance. The royal commission

heard the State Government had been

pushing through a national phone-

based alert system for years. Laws

were finally passed two weeks after

Black Saturday. And it could have

saved lives? I can't answer the

that question. The inquiry also

heard that those in control of the

firefight weren't informed of its

true horror until a day later. By

5:00pm Sunday, that's just

embarrassingly out of date. That's

unfortunate and wrong. The hearing continues.

Pope Benedict has declared his

strongest support yet for an

independent Palestinian state. The

pontiff left Israel for the West

Bank on his week-long pilgrimage of

the Holy Land. Thousands of

pilgrims gathered to hear the Pope

deliver a mass in the town of

deliver a mass in the town of Bethlehem.

He then visited a nearby refugee

camp, where he called for a

Palestinian homeland.

The right of your people in the

Palestinian homeland in the land of

your forefathers. Pope Benedict

will now travel to Nazareth for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Watch out, gentlemen - underwear-

maker Triumph has unveiled a new

husband-hunting bra in Japan. The

wearer locks in a target time to

find a husband, and the countdown

begins. Although that's the easy

part - once you've found the

perfect man, you insert your

engagement ring and the clock stops.

Yeah, well detractors of the device

sigh it sounds like a booby trap for unsuspecting males. They did.

Gold Coast rugby league coach John

Cartwright feels the NRL has gone

too far in its bid to clean up the

game. His comments followed the

suspension of his star forward Anthony Laffranchi.

Anthony Laffranchi found guilty of

striking and suspended for one

match at the NRL judiciary last

match at the NRL judiciary last

night. His coach disappointed he'd

been charged in the first place.

The game's not dirty anymore. We've

got to get to a stage where we

realise accidents do happen. We'll

never get all the contact out of a

contact sport. He will miss the

showdown with local rival Brisbane.

A crowd of more than 40,000 expect

at Suncorp Stadium. If we're going

to start suspending guys for

incidents like that, we're not

going to have many players left to

pick from. Meantime, the Broncos

say they're surprised by reports

that giant prop David Taylor has

signed to play with South Sydney.

I'm assuming that he hasn't. His

manager said last night he hadn't

spoken to Souths for two weeks. I

don't know how he signs with any of

that happening if he's telling the

truth. A scare at training for

Manly hooker Heath L'Estrange. The

premiers say he'll be right to take

on Parramatta on Sunday. It's just

a scratch, mate. He's OK. We're

just very - our rehab staff are

overcautious and very diligent.

Terry Wallace wants to front a

Richmond board meeting next week in

a desperate attempt to hold onto

his job. The embattled AFL coach is

on contract until the end of the

season, but there's speculation

Sunday's game against Port Adelaide

could be his last. There's not

going to be a war or battle here at

any sort of stage. I think the club

has been really good, they've been

supportive. I've got no issue with

anything that the club's done.

There's going to be no battle. It's

There's going to be no battle. It's

a matter of being men and being

open. Wallace is determined to exit

on good terms, saying he learnt his

lesson after a bitter split with the Bulldogs.

Melbourne will have a presence in

Melbourne will have a presence in

basketple billion's newly created

league, despite the Tigers and

Dragons pulling out of the competition. Basketball Australia

has met with the seven clubs which

have so far made expressions of

interest. An 8-team league has been interest. An 8-team league has been

proposed, including a club based in

Melbourne. We will we be doing

everything we can to the ensure

that we have a basketball

representation and team coming out

of Victoria. Already we've had some

of Victoria. Already we've had some

very positive pushes and

discussions in that area. The new

league, which won't be called the

NBL, is planned to start in October.

Economists have cast doubt on

Government estimates that we'll

shrug off a record deficit and be shrug off a record deficit and be

back in the Black within five years.

Juliette Saly from CommSec joins us.

How likely is a surplus by 2015? We

think Treasury's estimates are

entirely credible and we should be

back in the black in six years'

time. History has shown that after

a period of below-normal growth,

you do get a rebound. The last big

deficit we had was in the mid-90s.

At that time, many Australians

didn't the ink we'd see a

turnaround - yet we did so

effectively within five years. The

Government isn't predicting growth

within the next two years, so the

estimates are still fairly

conservative, and we think we will

see a surplus by 2015. Turning to

the market, there's so far been a lukewarm response to the Budget.

What can we expect in today's

trade? It's not looking like a trade? It's not looking like a

great day's trade. Wall Street

eased overnight on weaker-than-

expected retail-sales data. The Dow

Jones losing 184 points, or more

than 2%. The Nasdaq down 51 points,

or 3%. The crude-oil price fell

below US$58 a barrel, and a sell-

off on the London metals exchange.

Not a lot of support for our miners

and energy stock today. The Aussie

dollar has lost more than a cent,

down to US75 cents. The US futures

pointing to a drop of 80 opponents,

or 2%, today.

Thank you. Thanks.

The space shuttle 'Atlantis' docks

with the Hubble telescope. Those

pictures when the Early News returns.

This program is captioned live.

Making headlines this morning...

For the pain and the trauma that

she's felt out of all this, and the

embarrassment, I'm truly sorry. His

career in tatters, disgraced rugby

league personality Matthew Johns

publicly apologises over that group-sex scandal. Double-disillusion - Prime Minister

Kevin Rudd refuses to rule out an

early election if his Budget fails

to pass the Senate.

Astronauts on board the space

shuttle 'Atlantis' begin an 11-day

repair mission after docking with

the Hubble telescope.

In business news - they don't think

so - economists cast doubt on

estimates the Budget will be back

in the black in five years.

A shattered Matthew Johns has

publicly apologised to the woman at

the centre of rugby league's latest

sex scandal. With his wife by his

side, Johns expressed his regret

about the incident, but insists the

woman consented to having group sex

with him and his team-mates.

Stood down but not sacked by the 9

network over his involvement in a

team sex session with a young woman

seven years ago, Matthew Johns

offered an apology. For the pain

and the trauma that she's felt out

of all this, and the embarrassment,

I'm truly sorry. But then he

shifted blame - to the woman.

Morally, it is wrong. It is wrong,

I'm aware of that. But at the time,

at the time... The woman was a

willing participant in what went on.

And it was unsavoury. But police

completely investigated the

situation. There was no case to

answer. His wife Trish believed him.

Um, I was completely shocked. It

was extremely out of character for Um, I was completely shocked. It was extremely out of character for

Matt. I was horrified, and

disgusted. And just shocked that he

would have even been involved in

such a thing. But he told me very

specifically every last detail of

his involvement. In that actual

incident. And I believed him. How

could she, in going back to the

room with two of you, have ended up

being a willing participant in a

queue of blokes at the foot of the

bed having sex with her? Well... At

the time... When we went back, I

was totally aware that other people

were coming into the room. That

point that they did, I stepped away

from it. -- at the point that they

did, I stepped away from it... In

the statements that were made to

the police, it says that she

encouraged players to come forward,

and then she actually... She... She

said "Someone come forward now."

The words of "Will someone hurry,

come forward and have sex with me?"

Channel Nine left the door open to

Johns rejoining the 'Footy Show'

and its commentary team, but

endorsed comments by league boss

David Gallop that his behaviour was unacceptable.

The Prime Minister won't rule out a

double-disillusion election if this

week's Budget fails to pass the

Senate. Mr Rudd also indicated

there may be some Wiggle room on

some of the optimistic Treasury

forecasts he's relied on. Right

around the world, treasuries are

struggling with the challenges

presented by what is the worst

global economic crisis in three-

quarters of a century. The

Opposition has attacked forecasts

of a strong return to growth in

three years as overly optimistic.

And the Opposition leader will get

his turn to explain just how he'd

do things when he delivers his

Budget in reply tonight. Malcolm

Turnbull says he'll take a

responsible approach to the Rudd

Government's second Budget, but

insists the deficit would be lower

under the Opposition. The

Government is hoping Mr Turnbull

gives a clear seginal of which

Budget measures the Opposition will

support in the Senate.

The Federal Government outlined

more major reforms to the

superannuation system in Tuesday's

Budget, with more on the changes,

we joined on the line by Pauline

Vamos, the chief of the Association of Superannuation Funds of

Australia. Pauline, has it been a

good Budget for self-funded

retirees, given the impact of the

global financial crisis on

superfunds? Like many measures in

the Budget, it's been a bit of a

mixed bag on for self-funded

retirees. On the good side, the

Government has confirmed that, with

the draw-down of income payments

from allocated pensions, it is

going to stay for at least another

12 months at the 50% level.. That

means that retirees can pull down

less, if you like, if they don't

want to ease ininto their capital.

That's the good news. On the not-

so-good news, a lot of self-funded

retirees will be a little bit worse

off if they're self-funded and

they've got a part pension as well,

because the means test has been

slightly increased, so they will

get less. On balance, a lot may be

slightly worse off. Well, as you

say, a lot of retiring Australians

do rely part on pension, part super.

But it looks like the Government is

actually removing the incentives

for voluntary contributions. Well,

for the vast majority of

Australians, the salary sacrifice

incentives that are there - those

tax incentives - will remain for

the wealthy, so that's less than

4.5% of people - a lot less than

4.5% - their ability to pay will

catch up in terms of putting a

$50,000 or $100,000 pre-tax dollars

have been reduced, not removed -

this is what the important aspects

is. There's a lot of changes that

have been reduced around the edges,

things have been reduced or frozen,

but not removed. There's still

plenty of incentives there both

going in, during, and coming out of

super. Are you worried that the

halving of the annual concessional

cont caps will affect how much

workers will salary-sacrifice into

super? Again, not for the vast

majority of people. The vast

majority of people put in less than

$5,000 a month in terms of - sorry,

$5,000 a year in terms of salary

sacrifice contributions. Yeah. So

that's one aspect. The other aspect

is that the post-tax, your after-

tax dollars, is the Government co-

contribution scheme. Now, up until

the Budget, the Government was

saying "We will not only match

$1,000 if you put it in, we'll give

you an extra $500." Again, they

haven't removed that. They have

reduced that by saying "Still put

in $1,000, and we'll match it."

Still, that's a great benefit.

Excellent. Thank you, Pauline.

Pauline Vamos there from the

of Australia. Association of Superannuation Funds

The royal commission into the Black

Saturday bushfires has exposed a

number of embarrassing

communication bungles. Day three of

the inquiry heard startling claims

that a television and radio warning

system was available, but was never

used. The aim of the fire services

was to provide the information on a

community basis, rather than on a broadcast-area basis. The inquiry

also heard more than 9,000 000

calls were made on February 7 -

many of those were actually

diverted to Centrelink.

The space shuttle 'Atlantis' has

docked with the Hubble telescope.

Using a robot arm, the astronauts

grabbed the 13m telescope for a

close-up look at the damage.

Houston, 'Atlantis'. Hubble has

arrived on board 'Atlantis' with

the arm. The rendezvous, more than

500km above earth, is the first

step in an 11-day process to repair step in an 11-day process to repair

the telescope. This trip will be

the final flight to Hubble, and is the final flight to Hubble, and is

costing NASA just over $1 billion.

It's been revealed Terry Wallace

will front a Tigers board meeting

next week in a desperate attempt to

hold onto his job. The embattled

AFL coach has vowed to do

everything in his power to avoid

leaving the club on bad terms.

Terry Wallace is refusing to admit

his tenure at Tigerland is coming

to an end, despite speculation

Sunday's game against Port Adelaide

could well be his last. Look,

there's not going to be a war or a there's not going to be a war or a

battle here at any sort of stage. I

mean, I think the club's been

really good. They've been

supportive. I've got no issue with

anything that the club's done. So

there's going to be no battle. It's

just a matter of just being men and

being open. Wallace will meet the

board next week. He is determined

to exit on good terms. I had a

really unfortunate finish at the

Western Bulldogs, and, you know,

that, I know, cut a lot of Bulldogs

people very, very deeply. But it

actually cut me very deeply as well.

Now, if you're given your over -- Now, if you're given your over --

your time over again, I would do

thing couples pleat edifferent. The

Pies have plenty of injury concerns

ahead of Sunday's blockbuster

against the Blues. Mick Malthouse against the Blues. Mick Malthouse

at his cagey best when asked about

his long list of injured staff. I

haven't spoken to the medical staff

yet, so I'm not sure. The same

staff treat all players. I'm not

going to talk about individuals

that I don't know about.

Star Gold Coast forward Anthony

night's showdown with Brisbane Laffranchi will miss Friday's

after being suspended at the NRL

judiciary last night Laffranchi

pleaded not guilty to striking, his

coach disappointed he'd been

charged in the first place. You

know, to be taking our best players

out of the game for an incident

like that just - like I say, I'm

worried for the fabric of the game.

While there was a scare at training

for Manly hooker Heath L'Estrange,

the Sea Eagles say he'll be right

to take on Parramatta on Sunday.

A quick fire half-century by Deccan

captain Adam Gilchrist has failed

to stop Delhi from scoring a 12-run

win in the Indian Premier League.

Gilchrist scored 64 off just 33

balls for the Chargers as they

chase Delhi's impressive first- chase Delhi's impressive first- innings total of 7/173.

Andrew Symonds also chipped in with

an impressive 41 from 22 balls, but

it wasn't enough, with the dare DVDles

DVDles holding onto victory.

More on finance now with Frank. Even the Prime Minister admits

there's a bit of Wiggle room, so

there's still a lot of concern,

obviously, about these predictions.

Interesting terminology -

economists have cast doubt on economists have cast doubt on

Government estimates that we'll

return to surplus within five years.

Treasurer Wayne Swan forecast a $58 Treasurer Wayne Swan forecast a $58 billion deafset this year, but

maintains we should be back into

the black by 2015. Economists have

questioned that prediction amid

concerns the Budget doesn't go far

enough when stimulating growth to

drag us out of recession.

Wall Street slid further on the Wall Street slid further on the

back of worse-than-expected retail

data, the major indexes dropping 2%.

Checking websites around the world

this morning - London's 'Daily

Telegraph' says the Bank of England

has predicted Britain's recovery

from recession will be very slow.

The Ireland 'Independent' reports

the European Union is unaware of

the state of nearly two-thirds of

Europe's fish stocks.

And 'The Wall Street Journal' says

all 714 million votes have now been all 714 million votes have now been

cast in India's month-long national elections.

Up next on the Early News - the

Pope ramps up with his support for

an independent Palestinian state. Stay with us. GOOD MORNING, I'M FIONA NELSON...

FIRST UP, A FORMER VIROLOGIST LIVING IN CANBERRA, BELIEVES, THE SWINE FLU, EVOLVED, AND ESCAPED, FROM A LAB. ADRIAN GIBBS, WHO USED TO STUDY THE EVOLUTION OF VIRUSES, SAYS, THE RATE AT WHICH THE H-1, N-1 VIRUS

SPREAD, SUGGESTS, IT MAY HAVE BEEN GROWING IN A LAB, AND HUMAN ERROR, COULD HAVE CAUSED THE OUTBREAK. THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION, AND FLU

EXPERTS, ARE INVESTIGATING THE CLAIMS. THE STATE GOVERNMENT, HAS GIVEN A NEW RESORT AT PERISHER THE THUMBS UP. THE PERISHER VALLEY CARPARK, COULD SOON BE TRANSFORMED, INTO A NEW EIGHT HUNDRED BED FACILITY, AT A COST OF MORE THAN A HUNDRED AND 10 MILLION DOLLARS. THE GOVERNMENT SAYS, MORE THAN A THOUSAND JOBS WOULD BE CREATED AS PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT. CANBERRA, IS THE MOST CULTURED CITY IN THE COUNTRY, ACCORDING TO THE AUSTRALIA BUREAU OF STATISTICS. THE NEW REPORT SHOWS, 90 PER CENT OF CANBERRANS VISITED THE REGION'S GALLERIES, LIBRARIES AND REGION'S GALLERIES, LIBRARIES AND GARDENS IN A 12 MONTH PERIOD.

AND RAIDERS FIVE EIGHTH, TERRY CAMPESE, WILL GO UP AGAINST BRETT FINCH, IN MELBOURNE ON MONDAY,

MONDAY, DESPITE HIS STORM COUNTERPART, PLEADING GUILTY TO DANGEROUS CONTACT. CAMPESE, IS RETURNING TO THE RAIDERS, AFTER PLAYING IN THE COUNTRY ORIGIN SIDE LAST WEEKEND. AND FINCH WILL BE BACK ON THE FIELD... HIS EARLY GUILTY PLEA, SAVED HIM FROM SUSPENSION, AFTER HE USED HIS FOOT, TO STOP SETAIMATA SA, SCORING, IN THE ROOSTER - STORM CLASH LAST WEEK. NOW HAVING A LOOK AT TODAY'S WEATHER... A RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE SHOULD MOVE NORTH TODAY, ALLOWING ISOLATED SHOWERS AND WINDY CONDITIONS TO DEVELOP OVER SOUTHERN NEW SOUTH WALES. LOOKING ACROSS THE NATION - A POSSIBLE AFTERNOON SHOWER

AFTERNOON SHOWER FOR CANBERRA - FINE AND SUNNY

FOR SYDNEY - A SHOWER OR TWO FOR MELBOURNE CHECKING WHAT'S EXPECTED ACROSS SOUTHERN NEW SOUTH WALES - MOSTLY SUNNY AND 19 FOR DUBBO - A POSSIBLE SHOWER FOR ORANGE 13 THE EXPECTED TOP BATHURST COULD GET A SHOWER AND A TOP OF 15 - MOSTLY CLOUDY AND 14 DEGREES FOR GOULBURN FROST THEN A SUNNY DAY FOR MUDGEE 18 - SNOW AND A TOP

OF JUST ONE DEGREE FOR THREDBO LOOKING AHEAD - TOMORROW - SHOULD BE WINDY, WITH A FEW TOMORROW - SHOULD BE WINDY, WITH A FEW SHOWERS - AND A TOP OF 15 SATURDAY - WE CAN EXPECT ANOTHER WET AND WINDY DAY BUT IT SHOULD BE MOSTLY SUNNY ON SUNDAY VOICEOVER: Tired, puffy eyes? Wake up with new Garnier Nutritionist Eye Roll-on. Enriched with caffeine to instantly refresh the eye area, helping deflate bags and reveal brighter-looking eyes. New Garnier Nutritionist Eye Roll-on. WOMAN: Take care. MAN: Garnier.

This program is captioned live.

Headlines Ten's Early News - could

we be headed for an early election?

The PM refuses to rule out a double-disillusion if the Budget

doesn't pass the Senate.

Breaking her silence after seven

years - I certainly wouldn't like

it to be my daughter. Matthew

Johns's wife Trish speaks out about Johns's wife Trish speaks out about

the sex scandal that's left her husband's career in tatters.

And in sport - Tigers AFL coach

Terry Wallace to front a board

meeting next week in a desperate meeting next week in a desperate

attempt to hold onto his job.

The Prime Minister has refused to

rule out a double-disillusion

election if his Budget fails to

pass. Mr Rudd also indicated there

may be Wiggle room on some of the

optimistic Treasury forecasts he's relied on.

The Government spent most of the

last 24 hours defending the numbers

it's based on. Treasury projects a

return to strong growth in three

years. Last year's projections have

already been revised three times.

Now, even the Prime Minister

concedes it may happen this time

too. Right around the world,

treasuries are struggling with the

challenges presented by what is the

worst global economic crisis in

three-quarters of a century.

Forecasting is a very difficult

tool to use to predict the kind of

things that this Government is in

fact saying will happen. Their

growth forecasts just seem to be completely unrealistic. While the

Opposition has also attacked the

size of the Budget deficit, the

real test will come tonight when

the Opposition leader delivers his

official reply - many wondering if

he'll spell out a number for what

his deficit will be.

Away from the political battlefield,

the largest boost to the pension in

living memory hit the right note

with pensioners. The trade-off -

the pension age jumps from 65 to 67.

For milko Dave, that could mean two

extra years of hard work. If it's

to help the nation out, so be it.

That's only if the Budget is passed

in the Senate. If it's not, the

Prime Minister refused to rule out

an early double-disillusion

election. More for the Prime

Minister to dance around in the months ahead.

Rugby league personality Matthew

Johns has apologised to the woman

involved in group sex with the

Cronulla Sharks team seven years

ago. After meeting with Channel

Nine management yesterday, Johns

and wife Trish appeared on the network's current-affairs program

to discuss the incident. He said

the woman was a willing participant,

but apologised for her anguish. For

the pain and the trauma that she -

she's felt out of all this, and the

embarrassment, I'm truly sorry.

Knowing all of the information that

I do is that his greatest crime is actually being unfaithful to me as his wife. And I feel that it's only for me to judge saved lives, MrEps incidence I can't answer that question. The inquiry also heard that those in control of the firefight weren't informed of its true horror until a day later. By 5:00pm. That's embarrassingly out of date. That's unfortunate and wrong. The hearing continues. A 32-year-old American accused of murdering his wife on their North

Queensland honeymoon has been held

in custody after voluntary

returning to Australia. Gabe Watson

is accuse offend killing his wife

Tina 11 days after they were

married. They were scuba-diving off

Townsville in 2003 when Tina

drowned. Watson claimed his wife

panicked, and he surfaced to get

help, but a coronial inquest found

her death was not an accident. Pakistan's military Pakistan's military has released

video of its ongoing battle against

the Taliban in the country's north-

west. Missiles have been fired into

the Swat Valley, with more than 750

militants killed. The offensive has

forced around 800,000 people to flee their homes.

Pope Benedict has declared his

strongest support yet for an

independent Palestinian state. The

pontiff left Israel for the West Bank

Bank during his week-long

pilgrimage of the holy lands.

Thousands of pilgrims gathered to

hear the Pope deliver a mass in hear the Pope deliver a mass in Bethlehem. He visited a nearby

refugee company, where he called

for a Palestinian homeland. The

right of your people to a sovereign

Palestinian homeland in the land of

your forefathers. Pope Benedict

will now travel to Nazareth for

talks with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Gold Coast rugby league coach John

Cartwright is worried the NRL has

gone too far in its bid to clean up

the game. His comments follow the

suspension of his star forward Anthony Laffranchi.

Anthony Laffranchi found guilty of

striking and suspended for one

match at the NRL judiciary last match at the NRL judiciary last

night. His coach disappointed he'd been charged in the been charged in the first place.

The game's not dirty anymore. We've

just got to get to a stage where

accidents do happen. Rugby league

is a contact sport. We're never

going to get all the contact out of

it. Laffranchi will now miss

Friday-night's showdown with local

rival Brisbane. A crowd of more

than 40,000 expected at Brisbane's

Suncorp Stadium. If we're going to start suspending guys for incidents

like that, we won't have many

players left to pick from. players left to pick from. The

Broncos say they're surprised by

reports that giant prop David

Taylor has signed with South Sydney.

His manager last night said he

hasn't spoken to Souths for two

week. A scare at training for Manly

hooker Heath L'Estrange. Get the

Dock. Quick! The premiers say he'll

be right to take on Parramatta on

Sunday. It's just a scratch, Sunday. It's just a scratch, mate.

He's OK. We'regist - a our rehab

staff are just overcautious and very diligent.

Terry Wallace wants to front a

Richmond board meeting next week in

a desperate attempt to hold onto

his job. The embattled AFL coach is

contracted until the end of the

season, but there's speculation

Sunday's game against Port Adelaide

could be his last. There's not

going to be a war or battle here at

any sort of stage. The club has been

been really good, supportive. I've

got no issue with anything that the

club's done. There's going to be no

battle. It's a matter of being men

and being open about where we sit

at any time. Wallace is determined

to exit on good terms, saying he

learnt his lesson after a bitter

split with the Bulldogs.

So, as we've heard, some economists

have cast doubt on Government

estimates that will shrug off a record

record deficit and be back in the

black within 5 years. Let's get

CommSec's view. I'm joined by

Juliette Saly. Good morning again.

How likesly a surplus by 2015, do

you think? Frank, we actually think

that Treasury's estimates are very

credible. We've already seen

through the '80s and '90s that

after a period of low economic

growth, you do start to see a

turnered. When we had that massive

deficit in the mid-90s, there was a lot of

lot of concern we wouldn't be able

to turn things around, yet we did

so within a period of five years.

We think these estimates are very

credible. They're not predictth

growth this year or next year, and

we think they'll be back in the

black in five years. Not looking

like a very good Thursday at all on

our market, everything working

against us. Wall Street down overnight, and oil fell

overnight, and oil fell below US$58

a barrel. Metals prices sold off on

the London metals exchange. Weaker

than expect railroad retail sales

data in the US overnight pressured

banking and retail stocks, the Dow

losing 185 points, or 2%, and the

Nasdaq down by 3%. We may see

support on our market through

defensive stocks, and also the gold

stock - gold the only commodity to stock - gold the only commodity to

rise overnight. We have seen rise overnight. We have seen a

sell-off in the Aussie dollar,

losing close to US2 cents overnight,

it's now at US75 cents. The market

also looking shaky - the futures

pointing to a drop of about 85

points, or 2.2%, today. Thank you for the update. Thanks.

Ron, that's it in finance for this

morning. Flong, now, we've all

heard of mouse traps, but how about

a man trap?

a man trap? Underwear-maker Triumph

has unveiled a new husband-hunting

bra in Japan. The wearer locks in a

target time to find a husband, and

the countdown begins. That's the

easy part - once you've found the

easy part - once you've found the

perfect man, you insert the

engagement ring, and the clock

stops. (Wedding music plays)...

Frank, just for the record, there

are those who claim this is nothing

more than a booby trap for unsuspecting males. unsuspecting males. Ahhh... Not me.

It's true. I wouldn't say that.

That's it for Ten's Early News. I'm

Ron Wilson. See you again at 6:00

tomorrow morning. I'm Frank Coletta.

Have a great day.

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