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Ten Early News -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to

Ten's Early News. I'm Ron Wilson.

And I'm Matt Doran. Our headlines for Tuesday, August 3:

Taking the wind out of Julia's

sails, Tony Abbott turns down the

PM's challenge to another TV debate

Julia. as she tries to show us the real

Gale-force winds wreak havoc along

the NSW coast overnight with

hundreds of calls to emergency hundreds of calls to emergency

services. Homes are damaged and

trees have come crashing down.

In sport - the Newcastle Knights

upset Manly to keep their finals

hopes alive and put a scare into

the Sea Eagles' camp. And in

finance, it's D-Day for interest

rates. We're about to find out if

all those predictions that they'll

stay on hold will come true.

We start with the latest

developments in the election

campaign and Tony Abbott has

rejected a challenge from Julia

Gillard, who's spoiling for a

political fight. The PM, who's

promising to show the real Julia, promising to show the real Julia,

changed her mind about another TV

debate and wanted it this weekend.

Julia Gillard hoped it would bring

a change in the weather.

The PM's thrown the gauntlet to the

Opposition leader - debate me this

Sunday night. Let's see what Mr

Abbott says but if he's prepared to

debate the economy despite Mr

Costello saying he reckons Tony

Abbott doesn't know much about it, Abbott doesn't know much about it,

then it's on. But it's not on. Tony

Abbott says he's already challenged

the PM for another it debates and

he doesn't see why he has to

abandon his plans because the Prime

Minister's campaign is in trouble.

Ms Gillard's sudden urge to debate

could be a sign the real Julia

Gillard is am cog out. How's day

one of being the real you gone so

far? Well, I think it's gone OK but

I guess we'll hear your judgment

later tonight. She's promised to

throw away the campaign rule book

and let her real self take centre

stage. Would the real Julia please

stand up? What have we been seeing

for the last five weeks? Former

prime minister Kevin Rudd has a bit

of catching up to do too on the

campaign trail at least. Mr Rudd

has just been released from a

Brisbane hospital after undergoing

gall bladder surgery. His doctors

say he's doing well and Mr Rudd

hopes to be back on the campaign track later this week.

And we have some more information

on Kevin Rudd, who is reportedly

recovering well after being

discharged from hospital last night.

It's believed the Prime Minister

spent the night at his Brisbane

home, rather the former prime

minister spent the night at his

Brisbane home, ending a 4-day stay

in hospital for an operation to

remove his gall bladder. The former

prime minister let his followers

know he was doing well on Twitter.

It's not yet known when he'll begin

campaigning in his electorate.

Gale-force winds have left a trail

of destruction in NSW overnight.

Trees and power lines have come

crashing down with gusts of up to

100km/h. On the phone with the

latest is David Webber from the SES.

David, good morning to you. How bad

is it out there and which areas are

worst affected by these conditions?

Good morning, Ron. We've had SES

volunteers out in the field

responding to requests for

assistance. We've had well over 100

requests since 6:30pm yesterday.

Most of them are from the South

Coast and Illawarra regions.

Describe the damage in a little

more detail for us. Are people

having to be evacuated? We haven't

heard of any of that. We haven't

heard of too much significant

damage. There'ssome minor damage to

roofs, trees down over roads and

access routes. Some damage caused

to roofs from some of those trees

but nothing too significant at this

moment. We're looking at pictures

there. The damage, in fact, looks

quite bad in a couple of areas -

roads blocked and the trees down

over the cars. Will the clean-up

take a while? Will roads be

reopened today? Well, SES

volunteers will respond and go

through assessments around the

calls coming through and respond in

priority of significance. Our main

priority is to make sure people are

safe and secure and to secure

access and egress routes for those

people. It will probably take most

of this morning to do that. People

have predicted that the winds will

ease going into this afternoon so

that will help us a lot. David,

Thank you. thanks for your time this morning.

David Webber there from the SES.

The search for a 6-year-old girl

missing from her home continues

today. John O'Doherty joins us from

Mount Druitt. Pretty bad weather

overnight, John - will that hamper

the search? There's been a lot of

rain in Mount Druitt overnight.

Police have said they will resume

the search today and they're going

to focus on a nearby nature reserve. to focus on a nearby nature reserve.

Yesterday, SES workers said this Yesterday, SES workers said this

area is difficult to navigate at

the best of times. It's very thick

and that rain overnight will only

make their work more difficult.

Yesterday, the search continued for

the second day. Last night, police

and SES workers door-knocked

neighbours to try and find out any

information they could. During the

day they covered a 2km radius from

the home here where Kiesha went

missing over the weekend.

John, of course, there has been a

real twist to this whole story.

There are reports that she hadn't,

in fact, been seen for some time

before she was actually reported disappeared. That's right, Ron.

This morning, actually, it's been

reported that Kiesha only attended

primary school for five days this

year and yesterday when Ten News

spoke with friends and neighbours

in the area, they said they haven't

seen Kiesha for weeks. When her

uncle spoke publicly yesterday

appealing for public support in

trying to find the missing 6-year-

old, here's what he had to say.

Last time I seen her was three

weeks ago at my brother's son's

birthday party. She was there. She

was quite happy, enjoying the pony

rise. She was a happy little girl that day.

So, Ron, the search for missing 6-

year-old Kiesha Abrahams will

resume today. Hopefully there may

be some good news. Yeah, absolutely.

John, thank you. Our Ten News

reporter John O'Doherty in Mount

Druitt in Sydney.

Two skiers are suffering

hypothermia after being rescued

from the Snowy Mountains last night.

They were skiing in Kosciuszko

National Park near Perisher Valley

when they were confronted with a

blizzard. Conditions were so bad

the rescue team had to reach the

men on foot. The skiers have been taken to hospital.

In sport this morning, Newcastle

has kept its faint NRL finals hopes

alive with an upset win over Manly.

An inspired performance by winger

Akuila Uate leading the Knights to victory.

The highly fancied Sea Eagles got

off to a horror start against the

opening six minutes. Knights, conceding two tries in the

Uate! And despite the efforts of

Ben Farah to peg one back, it did Ben Farah to peg one back, it did

little to calm Josh Perry, who went

toe to toe with rival front rower Ben Cross.

The competition's leading try-

scorer crossing for a first-half

hat-trick to set up the win and hat-trick to set up the win and earn the praise of his coach. earn the praise of his coach.

He's still an exceptional player He's still an exceptional player

who is dangerous with the footy!

Manly threatened a second-half

comeback but the 20-point half-time

deficit was too much to reel in.

They sit in sixth on the ladder but They sit in sixth on the ladder but

insist they're still a shot at the

top four. I still don't think it's

out of reach. Today was just a bit

of a hiccup. And with just four

points separating sixth from 12th,

the top eight is still far from settled.

The Knights adding themselves to

the mix with their Monday night riot.

Brisbane coach Michael Voss says

the fear of a last-place finish

probably won't be enough to

motivate his side against West

Coast. The Lions and Eagles square

off at Subiaco on Saturday night. off at Subiaco on Saturday night.

Mum used to threaten me with a

wooden spoon and it didn't change

my behaviour. I don't think

threatening them will change the

situation. For us, they know where

they're at. The wooden spoon worked

for me!

Michael Schumacher has apologised

for almost putting former team-mate

Rubens Barrichello into a wall at the weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Five laps from the finish,

Schumacher was defending 10th

position in the race when he tried

to block a fast-finishing Barrichello.

Here we go. Looking in his right

mirror, and a little tweak on the

steering wheel - completely out of

order. Can have been horrible.

That's naughty from Michael.

Calling it the most dangerous move

he's ever seen, Schumacher has been

penalised. He will give up 10 grid

places at the next Grand Prix in Belgium.

Matt has the finance news and all

eyes on the Reserve Bank today.

It's the great rate debate with a

decision due this afternoon on

interest rates. There may not be

much to be debated if most

predictions are to be trusted. It's

almost certain the Reserve Bank

will leave the current rate

untouched at 4.5%. It comes off the

back of better than expected

inflation figures last week. The

RBA will announce its decision at

2:30 this afternoon.

Shares in Australian department

store David Jones have fallen

slightly following the filing of a

record sexual misconduct lawsuit.

Former publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk

is suing the company for $37

million over claims it tolerated

ongoing sexual misconduct by former

CEO Mark McInnes. He's alleged to

have made numerous inappropriate

advances to the 26-year-old. This

should never happen to me or to

anyone. I just wanted to be treated with respect.

Shares closed down 4 cents

yesterday at $4.76. The scandal is

now overshadowing today's launch of

the store's spring/summer collection.

An accountant has admitted stealing

almost $20 million from electrical

train Clive Peeters. A court heard

how she withdrew more than $19

million from a company account over

two years. The action was partially

blamed on the collapse of the chain

earlier this year. She used most of

the money to buy 44 properties.

Almost all of those have been sold,

recovering $16.3 million for the

company.

Energy shares and strong earnings

from European banks have triggered

big gains on Wall Street. The Dow

Jones is up more than 200 points and the NASDAQ added 2%.

Coming up - goodbye to a giant of

the green felt.

Thousands pack to the streets to

say farewell to a sporting legend.

Ten's early news is back in just a moment. with where he built that shed. or visit 1100.com.au.

This program is captioned live.

The headlines every 15 minutes on

Ten's Early News:

Parts of the NSW coast have been

battered by heavy rain and gale-

force winds overnight.

Gusts of up to 100km/h brought down

trees and power lines and left a

trail of destruction. Emergency

crews were kept busy, keeping roads

open. The SES says it's received

more than 100 calls for help. A

weather warning remains in force,

but the winds are expected to ease later this morning.

Meantime, there's new video of a

tornado that slammed into the South

Australian town of Penola. The

twister reached 200km/h and left a multi-million-dollar trail of

destruction at the weekend.

Australia's ambassador to the holy

see, Tim Fisher, will visit the

town today. He says the town has

plenty of spirit to bounce back.

Tony Abbott has knocked back the

chance to go head to head with

Julia Gillard in another election

debate. For more on that, we're

joined by political reporter Gerard Scholten in Canberra.

I have this image now of Julia

Gillard in the corner with boxing

gloves on - "Give me another one,

give me another one,". She

surprised everyone with the offer

of a second debate. What a

difference a couple of weeks can

make. At the end of the first week

of the campaign we saw the

relatively lacklustre debate and

Julia Gillard was adamant it would

be the one and only debate between

the two leaders. Now with the

campaign struggling somewhat, she

seems to have changed her mind,

agreeing to an offer from Channel

Seven to debate Tony Abbott on

Sunday night, specifically on the

economy only. That's the key here,

Ron. Before the election, Labor

would have considered the economy

one of their strengths but in the

last week or so with the Labor

leaks scandal and other blunders,

it's been lost in that entire

campaign, so what better way to

remind voters of how Labor has

steered Australia away from

recession when just about every

other global economy has careered

headlong into economic crisis than

with a debate on the economy this Sunday.

So I'd be happy to debate Mr Abbott

on the economy. Peter Costello

reckons he's bored by it so it

would be an interesting debate. Are

you busy this Sunday night? Let's

see what Mr Abbott says but if he's

prepared to debate the economy prepared to debate the economy

despite Mr Costello saying he

reckons Tony Abbott doesn't know

much about it, then it's on.

So, Ron, Tony Abbott has knocked

back the offer of a debate with

Julia Gillard and for one very

simple reason - it's the Liberals'

campaign launch on Sunday, a day

they've set aside for many weeks to

launch their campaign. It's a major

day for each political party, a day

when just about all the media focus

is on them, their policies and

their leader and Tony Abbott isn't

going to give up the chance to have

the focus on him for that day by

going head to head in a pretty

risky debate on an issue that Labor

has good ground on in favour of a

campaign launch. Gerard, is it my

imagination or did she call him Mr

Rabbit? I just noticed that. Injury

articled Scholten, thank you. Thanks, Ron.

-- Gerard Scholten, thank you.

Thanks, Ron.

Barn been Joyce says illegal

immigration could cause foot-and- mouth.

He was asked why parties used

asylum seekers as political

footballs. What about the issues of

foot-and-mouth coming in? Not a

political football. Senator Joyce

says it's important people follow

the proper processes, even if they are seeking asylum.

Meantime, Queensland is trying to

clean up its State politics today.

New rules aimed at improving the

integrity of Queensland politicians

and public servants will be

introduced into Parliament. Three

bills will boost whistleblower

protection, allow for a single code

of conduct for all public servants,

and make it a statutory requirement

for MPs to report their interests.

Premier Anna Bligh wants the public

to have more confidence in the

political process. political process. Controversial photographer Bill

Henson has spoken publicly for the

first time since police seized his

images two years ago from a Sydney

art gallery. At a lecture in

Melbourne, the artist defended his

photos of naked children saying

activities like sport caused more harm.

There's no specific documentation

to suggest that life modelling by

children for artists results in

physical or psychological damage.

Well, he said it was sheer nonsense Well, he said it was sheer nonsense

that children also couldn't give consent.

Australian soldiers in Afghanistan

have killed a Taliban leader

responsible for a series of

roadside bombings. Forces said the

insurgent had been trying to kill

coalition forces in the central

Oruzgan province where Aussie

diggers are based. Three of our

soldiers have been killed in the

region this year.

US President Barack Obama has

confirmed American combat troops

will pull out of Iraq at the end of

this month. Mr Obama says he set

the date shortly after taking

office and will hold to his promise.

And I made it clear that by August

31st2010, America's combat mission

in Iraq would end. And that is

exactly what we are doing, as

promised and on schedule.

The President also used his speech

to try to shore up faltering

support for the war in Afghanistan.

Thousands of people have flocked to

the streets of Belfast to say

farewell to former world snooker

champion Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins.

Many stars of the game turned out

to say goodbye to the hot-headed

snooker genius, including best snooker genius, including best

friend Jimmy White, who was a pall-

bearer. Things will never be the

same, and although it hurts so bad,

I will smile whenever I hear your

name, and be proud you were my dad.

It's interesting that the big

turnout was in contrast to Higgins'

death. He died alone after a

decade-long fight against cancer.

His body wasn't discovered for several days.

Hawthorn has until mid-morning to

decide whether to appeal Cyril

Rioli's 2-match ban for striking.

Failure to clear Rioli at the

tribunal could see the exciting

forward handed an extra week in the stands. forward handed an extra week in the stands.

It was out of character and now

Cyril Rioli is out for at least a

fortnight. And this is not just a

wrestle. There's been punches

thrown in that. He's composed as a

player, young Cyril. I've never

seen him this angry. Rioli was

charged with one count of striking

and one of attempting to strike. An

early guilty plea will see him back

by Round 21. A failed attempt at

the tribunal will add another week.

At St Kilda, it seems nothing is

going right at the moment.

They've been a bogey side for the

club for a while... Just one win

from the past month is hardly the

ideal lead-up to September.

We think we've just been fighting.

There's 22 desperate individuals a

little bit as opposed to a real

unit working together with great

chemistry. And then, when that

happens, your numbers tend to come.

In Brisbane, Brendan Fevola's

troubled groin has all but ended

his season. Carlton has confirmed

Chris Judd has a bruised pectoral

muscle. In Adelaide, Andrew

McLeod's career appears over. His

ongoing knee injury looks to have

denied him a farewell game. ongoing knee injury looks to have denied him a farewell game.

Rugby league and the Newcastle

Knights have kept their faint

finals hopes alive with an upset

win over Manly. They led by 20

points at half-time courtesy of a Akuila Uate hat-trick.

MacDougall has his nose in front!

Uate is there as well!

They got to it! The Sea Eagles have

now temporarily lost touch with the

top four, sinking to sixth position

on the ladder.

The local stock market made some

solid gaings yesterday, with

investors confident -- solid gains

yesterday, with investors confident

there'll be no change on interest

rates today. James Rosenberg at Macquarie Private Wealth, are you Macquarie Private Wealth, are you

buying into predictions the Reserve

Bank will leave rates untouched

today? I think that is absolutely

the most likely outcome, Matt.

We've had benign inflation figures, We've had benign inflation figures,

surprisingly soft in the last

couple of weeks. And that would

suggest the chance of a rate rise

is minimal at best, probably no is minimal at best, probably no

chance at all. What will probably

be more interesting is the Reserve

Bank statement on monetary policy

due out later in the week and we

should get a bit of a guide from

that whether that inflation outcome

is a one-off or a trend in the

Reserve Bank's view and if it's a

trend and they reduce their

forecast for inflation, the

likelihood is that rates will not

only be on hold for some months,

but probably well into 2011 as well.

Absolutely. That will be one to watch.

Possible repercussions from the

sexual harassment case at David

Jones. Its stock dropped slightly

in trade yesterday. Were the

headlines to blame? Well, cause or

effect. It's certainly a part of it

because yesterday was a pretty

strong day across the board, albeit

a fairly Kwai yet sort of day.

David Jones released -- quiet sort

of day. David Jones released a very

brief statement reaffirming their

guidance of profit growth of 5% to

10% so clearly that wasn't the case

for the stock falling. It had to be

to do with the $37 million claim.

Who knows how much culpability lies

defeat of the board, the company or

the former CEO Mark McInnes? But

either way, $37 million represents

about 20% of forecast earnings for

David Jones. They can't say any

more because of the court

proceedings but there's no doubt it

had to have an effect of on the

stock price yesterday. Thank you.

Pleasure, Matt.

A celebrity hairstyleist from

Queensland is suing a global

investment bank after deciding his

share market losss were a snip too

far. He's seeking undisclosed

damages from Swiss bank UBS

claiming it provided him with bad

investment advice when it should

have been a cut above. He says UBS

benefited from the deals while he

lost millions. Maybe he's hoping

for a cutting-edge case, Ron!

Well, you probably had a sleepless

night if you're watching this program in NSW.

The latest on a night of

destructive gale-force winds when

Ten's Early News returns. See you

after the break. greatest achievements. but then adds...

This program is captioned live.

Headlines every 15 minutes on Ten's early news.

Taking the wind out of Julia's

sales - Tony Abbott turns down the

PM's challenge to another TV debate

as she tries to show us the real Julia.

Gale-force winds wreak havoc along

the NSW coast overnight with

hundreds of calls to emergency

services. Homes are damaged and

trees have come crashing down.

In sport, the Newcastle Knights

upset Manly to keep their NRL

finals hopes alive and put a scare

into the Sea Eagles' camp. And in finance it's D-Day for interest

rates - we're about to find out if

all those predictions that they'll

stay on hold will come true.

Latest developments in the election

campaign and Tony Abbott has

rejected a challenge from Julia

Gillard, who is spoiling for a

political fight. The PM, who is

promising to show the real Julia,

changed her mind about another TV

debate and wanted it this weekend.

Julia Gillard hoped it would bring

a change in the weather... When

does the rain -- when did the rain

start? The PM has thrown the

gauntlet to the Opposition leader -

debate me this Sunday night. Let's

see what Mr Abbott says but if he's

prepared to debate the economy,

despite Mr Costello saying he

reckons Tony Abbott doesn't know

much about it, then it's on. But

it's not on. Tony Abbott says he's

already challenged the PM for two

debates and he doesn't see why he

has to abandon his plans because

the Prime Minister's campaign is in

trouble. This could be a sign the

real Julia Gillard is coming out.

How's day one of being the real you

gone so far? Well, I think it's

gone OK but I guess we'll hear your

judgment later tonight. She's

promised to throw away the campaign

rule book and let her real self

take centre stage. Would the real

Julia please stand up? What have we

been seeing for the last five

weeks? Former prime minister Kevin weeks? Former prime minister Ke

Rudd has a bit of catching up to do

too on the campaign trail at least.

Mr Rudd has just been released from

a Brisbane hospital after

undergoing gall bladder surgery.

His doctors say he's doing well and

Mr Rudd hopes to be back on the

campaign track later this week.

And we do have some fresh information through on Kevin Rudd

this morning. He's tweeted to say

he's recovering well after being

discharged from hospital last night. It's believed the former prime

minister spent the night in his

Brisbane home ending a 4-day stay

in hospital for an operation to

remove his gall bladder. He let his

followers know he was doing well on

Twitter. It's not yet known when he'll begin campaigning in his electorate.

Large parts of NSW are being

buffeted by gale-force winds, which

are leaving a trail of destruction

in their wake. Some areas have

reported wind gusts of over 100km/h

and it's keeping the SES very busy.

We've had about well over 100

requests since 6:30 yesterday. Most

of those have come from our Sydney

southern regions and our

Illawarra/South Coast region. We

are seeing some tree damage and

some roof damage from this. Clean-

up crews are still out there.

They're trying to remove downed

trees and other obstacles before

the morning commute gets into full swing.

The search for a 6-year-old girl

missing from her home in Sydney is

entering its third day. Ten's Early

News reporter John O'Doherty joins

us from Mount Druitt in Sydney's west.

We've just been reporting on bad

weather in Sydney overnight. Is

that likely to, or has it been,

hampering the search? Well, Ron,

there's been a considerable amount

of rain in Mount Druitt overnight.

Police say when they resume the

search today they'll focus on a

nearby bushland area. Now,

yesterday, SES workers explained

this reserve is a difficult area to

navigate. It's very thick and

difficult to get through so no

doubt the rain overnight will only

make their search efforts today

more difficult. Now, yesterday, the

search continued for the second day.

Last night, police and SES workers

door-knocked neighbourhood homes to

try and find out any information

that they could. During the day,

they covered a 2km radius from here

at the family home in Mount Druitt

where Kiesha went missing on the weekend.

Adding to the whole mystery

surrounding this case, we now have

reports that she hadn't been seen

for quite some time before her

disappearance was actually reported.

Well, that's right. It's actually

being reported this morning that

Kiesha only attended school for

five days this year and yesterday

when Ten News spoke with friends

and neighbours, they said that they

haven't seen Kiesha for weeks.

Yesterday, Kiesha's ufpbgling spoke

public I -- uncle spoke publicly

appealing for people to come

forward with information they may

have. Here's what he had to say.

Last time I seen her was three

weeks ago. It was at my brother,

his son's birthday party. She was

there. She was quite happy,

enjoying the pony rise. Um, she was

a happy little girl that day. So,

Ron, the search for the 6-year-old

will resume today. Last night's

rain will no doubt make the search

efforts more difficult but

hopefully they may find some good news.

John, thank you. Ten's Early News

reporter John O'Doherty at Mount

Druitt in western Sydney.

Two skiers are suffering

hypothermia after being rescued

from the NSW Moscowy mountains last

night. The two men -- Snowy

Mountains last night. The two men

were skiing Nao in Kosciuszko

National Park near Perisher Valley.

The men have been taken to hospital

after being rescued on foot.

People living in bushfire zones who

want to sell their properties to

the Government are being told to

get in touch with John Brumby. It

follows news the Victorian

Government will adopt all but eight

of the recommendations from the

Bushfires Royal Commission.

Two days after the Bushfires Royal

Commission released its findings,

the Premier says the Government

will support 59 of its 67

recommendations. These things

aren't questions about money.

They're questions about getting the policy right.

The final eight recommendations

remain in the balance until the

Government consults bushfire

communities. These include the

location of fire refuges,

evacuation policies and spending an

estimated $20 billion moving ageing

power lines underground.

Bushfires survivors are beginning

to rebuild in high-risk areas. The

Government dismissing the

recommendation of a compulsory buy-

out of homes in danger zones. It's

too late here and if you try to

suggest to some of my neighbours

now, they get really angry because

they've just put their heart and

soul after all this drama into

rebuilding their houses. But the

Opposition says it would force

those living in danger zones to

move for their own good. The

Government should be accepting, in

principle, all the recommendations

and getting on with it. The fire

season is only a few months away.

Newcastle has kept its faint NRL

finals hopes alive with an upset

win over Manly. An inspired

performance by winger Akuila Uate

leading them to victory. performance by winger Akuila Uate leading them to victory.

Winless in the steel city since

2006, the highly fancied Sea Eagles 2006, the highly fancied Sea Eagles

were off to a horror start against were off to a horror start against

the Knights, conceding two tries in

the opening six minutes. Up above

them! Uate! Akuila the thriller!

Josh Perry went toe to toe with

Josh Perry went toe to toe with rival front-rower Ben Cross.

Here they are throwing them! The

competition's leading try-scorer

competition's leading try-scorer

scoring a first-half hat-trick to

set up the win and earning the

praise of coach Rick Stone.

Uate is there as well! He's an

exceptional player who is dangerous

with the footy. Manly threatened a

second-half comeback but the 20-

point half-time deficit was too

much to reel in. They now sit in

sixth on the ladder but insist

they're still a shot at the top four.

I still don't think it's out of

reach. Today was just a bit of a hiccup.

And with just four points

separating sixth from 12th, the top

eight is still far from settled.

The Knights adding themselves to

the mix with their Monday-night riot. the mix with their Monday-night riot.

Brisbane coach Michael Voss says

the fear of a last-place finish

probably won't be enough to

motivate his side against West

Coast. The Lions and Eagles square

off at Subiaco on Sunday night with

the loser likely to claim the AFL's

poison chalice. My mum used to

threaten me with a wooden spoon and

it didn't change my behaviour. So I

don't think me threatening them

will really change the swaing at

all. For us, they know where

they're at. Michael Schumacher has

apologised for almost putting

Rubens Barrichello into a wall at the

the weekend's Grand Prix.

Schumacher was defending 10th

position in the race when he tried

to block a fast-finishing

Barrichello. Looking in his right

mirror, a little tweak on the

steering wheel. Well out of order.

Completely out of order. That's

naughty from Michael. Rubens will

be livid with that. He sure was,

calling it the most dangerous move

he's ever seen. Schumacher has been

penalised. He will give up 10 grid

places at the next Grand Prix in Belgium.

More on finance now with Matt and

interest rates hopefully are stuck

fast in the mud at the moment. It's fast in the mud at the moment. It's

the great rate debate with a the great rate debate with a

decision due this afternoon on the

all-important interest rates. If

most predictions are to be trusted,

home-owners can breathe a sigh of

relief. It looks almost certain

that the Reserve Bank will leave

the current rate untouched at 4.5%.

It comes off the back of better

than expected inflation figures

last week. The RBA will announce

its decision at 2:30 this afternoon.

Shares in Australian department

store David Jones have fallen

slightly following the lodgement of

a record sexual misconduct lawsuit.

Former publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk

is suing the company for $37

million over claims it tolerated

ongoing sexual misconduct by former

CEO Mark McInnes. He's alleged to

have made numerous inappropriate

advances to the 26-year-old.

This should never happen to me or

to anyone. I just wanted to be

treated with respect.

Shares closed down 4 cents

yesterday at $4.76.

The scandal is now overshadowing

today's launch of the spring/summer collection.

Tiger airways says it's newly

announced expansion plans in Asia

will have no bearing on its

Australian operations. It's teaming

up with Thai airways to form a new

venture, Tiger thank you. It will

take to the -- Tiger Thai. It will

take to the skies next year. The

Asia Pacific is the biggest air

travel market in the world. Tiger,

based at Tullamarine and Adelaide,

says the new venture will not

affect its pace of expansion in Australia.

Energy shares and strong earnings

from European banks have triggered big gains on Wall Street.

We're getting reports through that

thousands of households have been

blacked out this morning because of winds in Sydney.

Still ahead - the Queens of the

catwalk. It's a beauty pageant with

something unexpected behind the something unexpected behind the

scenes - the secret's revealed when

Ten's early news returns. NELSON... WITH YOUR LOCAL FEEDBACK ON THE POSSIBILITY THE THEME OF NATIONAL YEAR IS: 'WHEN SOMEONE GOES WAITING IS A DAY LOST'. TWO THOUSAND AND FOUR. THE A-C-T JUSTICE SYSTEM, ELECTED BODY, HAVE SIGNED SIXTH. HIGH PRESSURE EXTENDS INTO LOOKING ACROSS THE NATION - A FEW SHOWERS EASING FOR FROST THEN FINE FOR FRIDAY MOSTLY SUNNY. MIN -1

This program is captioned live.

The headlines every 15 minutes on

Ten's Early News.

And the latest on the overnight

wild weather in NSW - 14,000 homes

have - excuse me - lost power

following heavy rain and gale-force

winds. Gusts of up to 100km/h

brought down trees and four lines -

- trees and power lines, as well as

leaving a trail of destruction. The

SES says it's received more than

100 calls for help. Winds are

expected to ease later this morning.

EnergyAustralia says it's working to restore electricity.

Tony Abbott has knocked back the

chance to go head to head with

Julia Gillard in another election

debate. For more, we're joined by

our political reporter Gerard

Scholten in Canberra.

Gerard, the Prime Minister

surprised everyone with the offer

of a second debate.

Well, there's two ways of looking

at this, Ron - either Julia Gillard

was true to her word yesterday and

she's thrown out the rule book,

cast aside the advice of minders

and is going for it.

More likely, though, it's because

her campaign is struggling and the

best way to get issues,

particularly the economy, on which

this debate would be about front

and centre, is to have a debate with Tony Abbott.

The - before the election, Labor

would have believed that the

economy was one of its strengths

and this is a great chance for

Julia Gillard to remind Australia

that it was Labor who steered

Australia away from recession when

just about every other economy was

crashing into economic crisis.

On the economy - Peter Costello

reckons he's bored by it so it

would be an interesting debate. Are

you busy this Sunday night? Well,

let's see what Mr Abbott says. But

if he's prepared to debate the

economy despite Mr Costello saying

he reckons Tony Abbott doesn't know

much about it, then it's on. That

was Julia Gillard on the Seven

Network last night. That's the

network that has made this offer.

And with no 'MasterChef' on this

week, Ron, it would be scheduled

for 7:30.

Gerard, it's interesting in the

closing statements at the last

debate Tony Abbott said he wanted

another debate. Why would he snub

this opportunity? Well, for a very

simple reason and that's because

this is the day the Liberals had

set aside since the beginning of

the campaign to have their campaign

launch. These are big affairs,

traditionally days when all the

focus is on one party, its policies

and its leaders. Now, Tony Abbott

isn't going to give up that

valuable media space for a risky

debate on an issue for which Labor

considers one of its strengths.

Thank you very much. Controversial photographer Bill

Henson has spoken publicly for the

first time since police seized his

images two years ago from a Sydney

art gallery. At a lecture in

Melbourne, the artist defended his

photos of naked children, saying

activities like sport cause more

harm.

There's no specific documentation

to suggest that life modelling by

children for artists results in

physical or psychological damage.

He also claims it was near sheer

nonsense that -- it was sheer

nonsense that children couldn't give consent.

Lindsay Lohan has been released

from prison. She was whisked away

in a black SUV and taken straight

to court-ordered rebell bill

station. She will spend 90 days in

rehab. Her early release is

reportedly due to good behaviour

and prison overcrowding.

The Beatles sang 'Can't Buy Me

Love' but now you can buy their old

piano. An upright Challen piano

used by the band on 'Tomorrow Never

Knows' and 'Paperback Writer', was

bought in 1964 for $455. After

being retired in the '80s, it's now

up for auction with pre-sale

estimates ranging up to $260,000.

The instrument goes under the

hammer on August 15th.

A bevy of beauties has been adding

some sparkle to a somewhat unusual

pageant in South America.

Everything you would expect was

there from the bikini through to

evening wear but this was a competition with a difference.

Life's definitely a drag for this

lot. Have you worked it out? Of

course you have. All the

contestants are or have been men.

The title of Miss, Mr, master,

something, transvestite South

America went to Miss or Master Ecuador.

Hawthorn has yet to decide whether

to appeal Cyril Rioli's two-match

ban for striking. Failure to win an

appeal could see him handed an extra week.

It was out of character and now

Cyril Rioli is out for at least a fortnight.

There's been punches thrown in that.

He's a composed player. I've never

seen him this angry. Rioli was

charged with one count of striking

and one of attempting to strike. An

early guilty plea will see him back

by Round 21. A failed attempt would

add another week. At St Kilda, it

seems nothing is going right tome.

We're full of respect and they've

been a bogey side for this club for

a little while and... Just one win

from the past mont is hardly the

ideal lead-up to September. There's

22 desperate individuals as opposed

to a real unit working together

with great chemistry. When that

happens, your numbers come up. In

Brisbane, Brendan Fevola's troubled

groin has all but ended his season.

Carlton has confirmed Chris Judd

has a pectoral -- bruised pectoral

muscle. In Adelaide, Andrew

McLeod's career appears over. His

ongoing knee injury looks to have denied him a farewell game.

Rugby league and the Newcastle

Knights have kept their faint

finals hopes alive with an upset

win over Manly. The Knights burst

out of the blocks and led by 20

points at half-time, courtesy of a

Akuila Uate -- an Akuila Uate hat-

trick. MacDougall has his nose in

front. Uate is there as well.

They got to it! The Sea Eagles have

now temporarily lost touch with the

top four sinking to sixth position on the ladder.

Still on NRL and South Sydney

forward Sam Burgess will miss

Saturday's clash with the Wests

Tigers after pleading guilty to a

grapple tackle. Burgessed faced a

2-match ban if he contested and

lost but took the early guilty plea.

He's definitely a loss but you lose

players all the time and you just

have to deal with it. Shannon

Macpherson is the likely

replacement for Burgess.

The local stock market made some

solid gains yesterday with investors confident today's

interest rate decision will be no change.

Let's check in with James Rosenberg

at Macquarie Private Wealth.

Morning, James. Are you buying

predictions that the Reserve Bank

will leave the rates untouched today?

Matt, there's about as much chance

of them changing it as there is of

Brian Smith asking me to replace

Todd Carney at five-eighth for the

radios terse! I think the second-

quarter inflation data is really

very, very soft and has changed any

expectation of a rate rise today.

Later in the week, they've got this

statement on monetary policy. If

they revise down their forecast for

inflation, rates may be-on hold

well into next year as well.

Possible repercussions from the

sexual harassment case at David

Jones. Do you think the headlines

were to blame for the stock price

drop yesterday? They had to be. The

company released an announcement

where they maintained their profit

forecast of 5% to 10%. St it

certainly wasn't that. The stock

was down a bit in an otherwise

strong but quiet market. It's a

significant claim. $37 million is

hardly a drop in a bucket. It

represents about 20% of David

Jones' forecast profit for the year,

so it had to have an effect.

James Rosenberg at Macquarie, thank you. Pleasure.

Some cautious words on economic

recovery this morning from the US

Federal Reserve chairman. Ben

Bernanke says the US economy is

growing but it's too early to let the guard down.

We have a considerable way to go

before we achieve that full

recovery in our economy, and many

Americans are still grappling with

unemployment, with foreclosure and

with lost savings.

with lost savings.

He also said says tied credit is

holding back investment.

The merger between Graincorp and

the Australian Wheat Board has

sparked concern the in the

Coalition, who says it stands to

monopolise the east coast market.

A Housing Industry Association

report shows new house sales fell

5.1% in June a17-month low. And the

5.1% in June a17-month low. And the

manufacturing sector expanded in

July, the seventh consecutive month

it has done so. That's finance

it has done so. That's finance

today, Ron. The reaction from the

Reserve Bank in tomorrow's program.

Matt, good on you. Thanks very much.

Recapping our main news this

Recapping our main news this morning - the Prime Minister calls

for a second televised debate but

Tony Abbott rejects the challenge.

Emergency services have received

hundreds of calls for help as

destructive winds batter the NSW

coast, bringing down trees and damaging homes.

And home-owners will be given a

reprieve, with the Reserve Bank

expected to leave rates on hold

today. It comes off the back of

better than expected inflation figures.

And that's our first news of date

on Ten. If you want to check the

headlines, the first 15 minutes of

the program are up on the Ten News

website for you to download. I'm

website for you to download. I'm Ron Wilson. Thanks for watching.

I'm Matt Doran. Have a sensational day.

Supertext captions by Red Bee Media Australia.