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Good morning.

Welcome to Ten's Early News. Welcome to Ten's Early News.

Making headlines today:

Out of control. Kevin Rudd to

crisis gripping Australia. outline the housing affordability

Rate pain - analysts backing

another 0.25% hike when the RBA

meets tomorrow.

Historic visit - the Iranian

President touches down on Israeli

soil for the very first time.

And in sport, Australia go down to

India as Sachin Tendulkar produces a

To the markets now with Frank

Coletta and, Frank, Wall Street

took a massive tumble on Friday night. night.

A brutal end to the trading week

on Wall Street, the Dow tumbling

315 points with a warning firms

in could end up facing $600 billion

Red figures across Asia too.

Inflation is at a 16-year high. No

prizes for guessing what the RBA is planning. More on that later. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will

today unveil figures showing housing affordability is spiralling

out of control. A soaring number of

people are living in housing

stress, with a new report revealing

1.1 million Australians spend more than

than a tkhird of their income on

where they live. Low- to

middle-income earners are the

hardest hit. At the keynote speech

in Brisbane, Mr Rudd will in Brisbane, Mr Rudd will outline

the Government's plan to tackle the

crisis. It may have just been

voted the best city in the world

but one in five Sydneysiders say

they're ready to move. A new survey

finds many are considering leaving

Sydney due to mortgage stress, the

congestion. high cost of living and traffic

Kevin Rudd's speech also marks 100

days since his election win and is expected to slam the former

government's management of interest

rates. The Reserve Bank is tipped

to lift rates tomorrow by another

0.25% . Any rise will all but wipe

out the financial gain of the

Government's new plan to make dental care affordable. dental

Kevin Rudd can now add another

accolade to his collection. Ranked

seventh best dressed Australian by

a leading fashion magazine. If it renders me the seventh renders me the seventh most

stylish person in the country,

there's something wrong with the

polling data. Other polls show Mr

Rudd enjoying record popularity,

delivering on election commitments.

Mr Rudd has unveiled a $360 million

plan for teenage teeth. Up to plan for teenage teeth. Up to 1

million teens stand to benefit. Eligible families can claim half

the cost of an annual the cost of an annual dentist

check-up. The scheme is targeted at

low and middle-income households

with figures showing one in three

Australians avoid the dentist chair

because of the cost. Working

families need a helping hand when

it comes to their family budgets.

It's feared HIV infection rates

will more than double in parts of

Australia over the next seven years.

A new report says that, A new report says that, if the

current trend continues, rates of

HIV will jump by 73% in

HIV will jump by 73% in Victoria,

and 20% in Queensland. Researchers

are blaming reduced condom usage

and the increase of other sexually

transmitted infections which makes a

person more susceptible to transmitting HIV.

A man has been shot in the thigh

during a drive-by shooting in

Sydney overnight. Sydney overnight. The incident

happened around 8:30 outside the

Sapphire Suite nightclub in Kings

Cross. Witnesses say a silver

Mitsubishi fired several shots towards the 55-year-old before

speeding off. Crime scene was

established and police are investigating.

A post-mortem examination will be

carried out today on a body

discovered in the Gold Coast hint

Erland. Police are treating the death as suspicious. death as suspicious.

The badly decomposed body, covered

in dirt, was found under a bridge

in the Gold Coast hinterlands.

Three locals made the grisly

discovery while looking for a spot

to fish. While they were down there,

they located what they believed was

human remains. They reported it to

police. Police closed several

roads near the popular fishing hole as homicide detectives established

a crime scene. It's not clear at a crime scene. It's not clear at

this stage if the remains are male

or female but police say the body

had been there for some time. The

remains do appear to be a while. A

search of the area failed to find a

nearby. weapon but a man's boot was located

nearby. Police believe the person

may have been murdered. We are

treating at as suspicious. At this stage it's an early investigation

but we are treating it as

suspicious. The body was removed last

last night and a post-mortem

examination examination will be carried out today.

Convicted drug smuggler Schapelle

Corby could be back in Australia by

Christmas. The Rudd Government has

reportedly held secret talks with

officials in Indonesia to officials in Indonesia to finalise

a prisoner transfer treaty. The

deal would allow Koschitzke and at

least three members of the Bali

Nine to serve out the remainder Nine to serve out the remainder of

their sentences in Australian jails. Koschitzke

Koschitzke is serving a 20-year

prison term for drug smuggling.

Iran's President has begun a

landmark visit to Iraq. Mahmoud

Ahmadinejad received a red carpet

welcome when he arrived in the

country. He's the first Iranian

the war between the two countries head of state to visit Iraq since

million in the 1980s which left more than a

million people dead. The Iranian President

President says it opens a new

chapter in relations between the former foes.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

has suspended all contact with

Israel after a series of missile

attacks which killed 100 people.

The move came after Israeli Prime

Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to

continue the assault on the Gaza

Strip. UN Secretary-General Ban

Ki-Moon has condemned Israel for

the violence. Instead of heeding

the UN's call for calm, Israel is

preparing to step up the offensive.

The attacks bring an end to US-led

November. peace talks which began again in

Australian fashion designer

Collette Dinnigan has wowed the

crowds at Paris Fashion Week. crowds at Paris Fashion Week. Show

casing her 2008 automatic-winter

collection, 'Midnight in Moscow',

din began was the only Australian

invited to exhibit at the event. Inspired by Russian military and

rock stars, the parade had plenty

of black as well as fitted dresses

embellished with metallics and

sequins. The designer is

celebrating her 12th year at the prestigious Paris Fashion Week. prestigious Paris Fashion Week.

A brilliant century from Sachin

Tendulkar has steered India to a

1-0 lead in cricket's try series

finals. It's the 42nessed tonne of Tendulkar's one-day career. Of COMMENTATOR: There it is! Wonderful.

Incredibly it was his first in

Australia. A fourth-wicket stand of

123 with young gun Rohit Sharma

guiding India to victory. Game two guiding India to victory. Game two is in Brisbane tomorrow. Pre-season injuries continue to

plague AFL clubs with the Kangaroos

and Hawks the latest teams to

suffer casualties. Hawthorn's Beau

Muston sustained a knee injury at

the weekend. Jess Sinclair dislocated his thumb. Kangaroos coach Dean Laidley has already called on the AFL to shorten its preseason and Jess Sinclair's injury will only strengthen his claims. Oh, look, he's done some ligaments in his thumb, it's dislocated, so they're probably saying 6-plus. Sinclair will have surgery to repair the ligament damage in his thumb, to confirm he'll need his third knee reconstruction in as many years. It doesn't look good for Musto. He's a terrific lad and he's worked really, really hard and we'll do whatever we can, if it's a bad one,

to give him the support that he needs. No injury concerns for the Crows after they soared into the NAB Cup Grand Final. COMMENTATOR: Burton! One of the big-time marks! I think everyone could see that coming -

it was just unfolding in slow motion. Adelaide will host St Kilda in the decider on Saturday night. Luke Schneider, Ten News.

Troy Bayliss has farewelled Phillip

Island by winning both races in a

day of Superbike carnage. Race one

set the town, Mikael Fabritzio's

duecty stalling on the start line.

That not enough to stop Bayliss who

took out race one in sensational

style. What a legend! What a champion!

champion! How good is that? More

spills in race two. Aussie Troy spills in race two. Aussie Troy

Corser one to go, followed not long

after by Max by yajy. Max is down!

There's a big off! Luckily the big

just misses him! Bayliss capping

his goobd with a race two win.

Finance with Frank now and more bad

news for borrowers. Yes, sadly,

Kath. Higher interest rates could

be here to stay. Home and business loan borrowers are loan borrowers are being warned

they could be in for longer periods

of boosted rates. Concerns about

global economic growth and default

rates are driving up the cost of

borrowing. That makes it more

likely banks will have to pass on

the higher credility cost to

customers. Most analysts are

tipping another 0.25% rate hike

when the RBA meets tomorrow, which

would take the official cash rate to to 7.25%.

ABC Learning owner Eddy Groves has

flown to the US in a last-ditch bid

to save his company. Groves arrived

in LA hoping to find a buyer for

the business in order to hold off

the banks. Speculation is mounting

he will sell off 1,000 centres in

the US to America's biggest childcare operator Knowledge Learning. The Singaporean

Government's investment arm,

Temasek Holdings, has Temasek Holdings, has emerged as a

potential buyer after lifting potential buyer after lifting its

stake in ABC to 14.6%.

Disgraced newspaper Baron Conrad

Black will start his 6.5-year jail

term in the US today. The

63-year-old former Fairfax

proprietor was found guilty of

swindling millions of dollars from

his media company and using the

money to buy luxury homes around the world.

A look now at the national weather

details for the day ahead:

now to today's headlines in the newspapers. The 'Sydney Morning Herald' has more on the housing affordability

crisis facing a record number of crisis facing a record number of

low and middle-income earners. That

story in the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.

And earnings growth from the big

listed companies have been slashed

this year after leading this year after leading brokers

cut earnings forecasts to between

1.3% and 3.6%. More on that in the 'Financial Review'. Fresh warnings

about the safety of the balconies after an horrific collapse in

Melbourne. Details when the early news returns.

You're watching Ten's Early You're watching Ten's Early News.

Making headlines this morning: Housing crisis. The Rudd

Government to unveil ways to tackle nationwide housing stress.

Fears HIV infection rates skyrocket Fears HIV infection rates will skyrocket across the country over the next seven years.

No end to the bloodshed. Violence

once again rocks the Gaza Strip.

And in sport, Aussie Tim Cahill

stars for Everton in a dominant display against Portsmouth.

To Frank now and the carnage on Wall Street on Friday night points

to a dark day for us here today. It

doesn't look good, Kath. Carnage from

from Wall Street that's going to affect us locally.

Good news Good news for Xstrata investors.

Swreel the details shortly.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will

unveil figures today showing

unveil figures today showing the

true extent of the mortgage stress

gripping low and middle income Australians. Research commissioned

by the Government shows 1.1 by the Government shows 1.1 million people are living in mortgage

stress. At a keynote speech in

Brisbane, the PM will outline more

Government plans to combat the

crisis, which is spiralling out of

control. Home-owners in Sydney's

outer suburbs are some of the worst

hit, where property values have

plummeted after the housing boom

of 2004. It's been revealed

hundreds of homes have been hundreds of homes have been bought

and sold at a loss with many

losing more than 40% in value.

And with the Reserve Bank expected

to lift interest rates again

tomorrow, the Federal Government

says it's dead serious about

reining in spending ahead of the reining in spending ahead of the

May budget. Massive spending cuts

are on the way to help curb

inflation. The Government says some

programs will get the chop while others will be trimmed down. We are

going to ensure that we cut into

Government spending and get rid of

wasteful and inefficient programs

and put serious downward pressure

on inflation. The Opposition says on inflation. The Opposition says a deliberate slowdown in the economy

may put people out of work. The RBA

is tipped to raise rates by 0.25%.

The Victorian Government has taken

a hit in the polls, losing ground

to the newly formed Coalition. According to the latest

Labor has lost eight points to the Opposition but still holds Opposition but still holds a

commanding 12-point lead on a

two-party preferred basis. Premier

John Brumby's dissatisfaction

rating has risen to 32% but he

maintains a firm lead over the

Liberal leader, whose voter

satisfaction remains at 38%, nine

points behind the premier.

A warning to home-owners with

backyard decks after a 3m high

balcony collapsed in Melbourne

taking 20 people with it. Two

taking 20 people with it. Two were

seriously hurt. Experts say many decks aren't properly reinforced.

An engagement party turned into

chaos, the balcony collapsing chaos, the balcony collapsing

jerg13 of the 20 guests, including

some standing under it. Some were

covered in blood all over their

face. They were pulling out a woman

whose leg was sort off and her bone

was sticking out. The gentleman who

was underneath the deck came off

worst. I think he's got a possible

fracture of his hip or pelvis.

Leading architects warning there

are thousands of potential death

traps in backyards

traps in backyards across the

country. Balconies built in the

'80s or earlier are a particular

danger, as are those built by

home-owners without council permits.

We estimate there are 8,000 decks

and balconies that are potentially

fatal and we mean by that decks

that are high enough off the ground

in bad enough condition that if

there was a large party on them, people

people could be killed.

It's feared HIV infection rates

will more than double in parts of

Australia every over the next Australia every over the next seven

years. A new report says that if current trends continue, rates of

HIV will jump by 73% in Victoria

and 20% in Queensland. Researchers

are blaming reduced condom usage

and the increase of other sexually

transmitted infections which makes a

person more susceptible to

transmitting HIV.

Anti-whaling ship the 'Sea

Shepherd' has caught up with the Japanese

Japanese whaling fleet after a

pursuit across the Southern Ocean.

The fleet has been tracked down

north of the Australian Antarctic

territory. Five volunteers on the

ship the 'Steve Irwin' say they

ship the 'Steve Irwin' say they are

willing to risk arrest and will

attempt to board the Japanese vessels.

vessels.

American legal warrior Erin

Brockovich is taking on an Australian

Australian giant. In her first

Australian case, Brockovich will allege pollution from Alcoa's

aluminium refineries has damaged

nearby residents. The celebrity

environmental campaigner has won

millions for clients in the US, her

exploits made famous in the Julia

robtsz movie, 'Erin Brockovich'.

The Palestinian President has

suspended all contact with Israel

after a series of strikes on Gaza which

which has left more than 1hun

undead. The dramatic move came

shortly after the Israeli Prime Minister vowed to continue his

military assault.

Dozens more Israeli missiles hit

their targets this morning, part of

their latest ground and air attack

on the Gaza Strip. In a building

used by Palestinian Hamas leaders

used by Palestinian Hamas leaders

in Gaza city, took a direct hit.

No-one was inside. The Palestinian

President, Mahmoud Abbas, was

giving blood this morning as he

announced that he's suspended all

contact with Israel. It comes after the Israeli leader,

Ehud Olmert, vowed that he would

step up this assault on Gaza step up this assault on Gaza rather than stop it. It brings a complete

end to the peace talks which began

again in November after seven years

on hold. More than 100 Palestinians

have been killed during these attacks.

And yesterday was the single

bloodiest day for the Palestinians

since the 1980s, 61 people killed, around half of them children.

The Israelis say their offensive is

in response to a Palestinian robgtd

attack on Wednesday, which killed a student.

student. -- rocket attack on

Wednesday, which killed a student.

The United Nations has condemned

the original Palestinian rocket

attacks as an act of terrorism but

now also wants Israel to stop its aggressive retaliation.

Germany's most famous polar bear

cup, Knut, is now set to become cup, Knut, is now set to become a

film star. 'Knut and Friends'

premiering at Berlin zoo's cinema.

The cub gained attention when The cub gained attention when he

was orphaned by his mother in 2006

and raised by zoo staff.

Unfortunately, the movie will not

be aired in Australia.

India has gone 1-0 up in cricket's

try series finals and it's all

because of the great Sachin

Tendulkar. His unbeaten century

steering the tourist toss a six-wicket win. This was Sachin

This was Sachin Tendulkar at his brilliant best. COMMENTATOR: Wonderful! Crafting his first limited-overs

century on Australian soil. Well,

it's no better moment than today to

score a hundred. India dominated most of the game, spoiling Adam Gilchrist's Sydney farewell

then knocking over Ponting and

Michael Clarke cheaply. Hayden gave

the innings some spine before

hauling out off Harbhajan Singh.

Hayden sweeps and is out! Oh,

Harbhajan Singh has got them right

back in the match. A points

decision to Harbhajan, helping the

Aussies to 239 and then helping

himself to a classic in the

outfield. He's taken an amazing

catch! A mix-up with Tendulkar saw

Gambir bowled out. There was no

breaking the Little Master, although

although Lee almost did on 98. although Lee almost did on 98.

But his 42nd one-day tonne and a stylish 66 from Rohit Sharma stylish 66 from Rohit Sharma saw

India draw first blood in the best-of-three finals series.

A strong performance from Aussie

Tim Cahill has helped Everton to a

3-1 Premier League win over

Portsmouth. Everton took the first

goal within a minute thanks to the

head of yuck yuck. Not long after

-- Yakubu. Not long after, Tim

Cahill was creating chances. In

the 73rd minute, the Australian

struck. Great chance and a goal. Tim

Tim Cahill - his goal drought is

over. Everton are now three over. Everton are now three points

clear of Liverpool in fourth spot

on the English Premier League table.

Finance now with Frank and a

deadline looms for Lachlan Murdoch. Crunch time for Lachlan Murdoch in

his $3.3 billion bid to privatise Consolidated Media Holdings with

James Packer. Murdoch has until the

end of this week to finalise a deal.

The 36-year-old has been working

out on the buy-out plan for the

past four weeks. Murdoch and James

Packer say their offer, that values the

the company at $4.79 a share, will not be sweetened.

Xstrata is tipped to unveil a $6 billion record annual profit at billion record annual profit at an investors meeting tonight but it's

fair to say the focus will be on a

possible takeover offer from Brazilian

Brazilian mining jiepbtd Vale. It's the

the first time Xstrata's chief

executive has faced investors

since admitting in December that the

company was in merger talks. The

deal would hand control of

Xstrata's mines to the Brazilian

company and form a resources giant

bigger than BHP.

Briefly - MFS has finalised the

sale of a 65% stake in its Stella

tourism arm to CBC Asia Pacific. MFS was offered $406 million for the business.

the business.

A look now at the national weather

details for the day ahead: Claims Schapelle Corby could be

back in Australia by Christmas.

That's next.

And the CommSec finance report And the CommSec finance report when the early news returns.

You're watching Ten's Early News. Making headlines today:

Out of control. Kevin Rudd to outline

outline the housing affordability crisis gripping Australia.

Rate pain:

Analysts backing another 0.25% hike

when the RBA meets this week. Historic visit:

The Iranian President touches down

on Iraqi soil for the very first time.

And in sport, Australia go down to

India as Sachin Tendulkar produces a vintage century.

To the markets now and, Frank, To the markets now and, Frank, the

carnage on Wall Street on Friday

night, is pointing to a dark day

for us here. Could be a shocker.

It was a bad end to the week

locally and everything points to an

equally brutal start. Our market was

was in negative ground again at the

close of trade and the SPI result, you can

you can see there, does not bode

well for today's opening.

How bad will the day be? Our

CommSec guru will set the scene in

just a moment, Kath.

Thanks, Frank.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will

today unveil figures showing

housing affordability is spiralling out of control.

A soaring number of people are

living in housing stress, with a

new report revealing 1.1 million

Australians spend more than a third of

of their income on where they live.

And low to middle-income earners

are the hardest hit. At the keynote

speech in Brisbane, Mr Rudd will also

also outline the Government's plan

to tackle the crisis. And while it

may have just been voted the may have just been voted the best

city in the world, one in five Sydneysiders Sydneysiders say they're ready to

move. A new survie finds many are

considering leaving Sydney due to

mortgage stress, high cost of living and traffic congestion.

Kevin Rudd's speech also marks Kevin Rudd's speech also marks 100

days since his election win and is

expected to slam the former

Government's management of interest

rates. The Reserve Bank is tipped

to lift rates tomorrow by another

0.25%. Any rise will all but wipe

out the financial gains of the

Government's new plan to make dental care affordable.

Kevin Rudd can now add another

accolade to his collection - ranked

seventh best dressed Australian by

a leading fashion magazine. If it

renders me the seventh most

stylish person in the country,

there's something wrong with the

polling data. Other polls show Mr

Rudd enjoying record popularity, delivering on election commitments

his Government's core business. Mr

Rudd has unveiled a $360 million

plan for teenage teeth. Up to 1 million teens stand to benefit.

Eligible families can claim Eligible families can claim half

the cost of an annual dentist's check-up from .

The income is targeted at low and middle-income households with

figures showing one in three

Australians avoid the dentist's

chair because of the cost. Working

families need a bit of care when it comes

comes to family budgets.

A man has been shot in the thigh

during a drive-by shooting in

Sydney overnight. The incident

happened around 8:30 outside the

Sapphire Suite nightclub in Kings

Cross. Witnesses say a silver

Mitsubishi fired several shots

towards the 55-year-old before

speeding off. A crime scene was established and police are investigating.

A childcare centre in Melbourne's

Eastern Suburbs has gone up in

flames. The fire broke out in the

roof of the Endeavour Child Minding

Centre, spreading to the rest of

the building causing thousands of

dollars in damage. Certainly it

will be unfit for habitation so the

families will have to make other arrangements unfortunately.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

A post-mortem examination will be

carried out today on a body

discovered in the Gold Coast

hinterland. Police are treating the death as suspicious.

The badly decomposed body, covered

in dirt, was found under a bridge

in the Gold Coast hinterlands.

Three locals made the grisly

discovery while looking for a spot to fish.

While they were down there, they

located what they believe was human

remains. They reported it to police.

Police closed several roads near

the popular fishing hole as

homicide detectives established a

crime scene. It's not clear at this

stage if the remains are male or

female but police say the body had been there for some time.

The remains do appear to be a while.

A search of the area failed to A search of the area failed to find

a weapon but a man's boot was

located nearby. Police believe the

person may have been murdered. We

are treating it as suspicious at

this stage. It's an early

investigation but we are treating

it as suspicious.

The body was removed last night and

a post-mortem examination will be carried out today.

It seems Australians are tiedier

than ever before. 800,000

volunteers across the country

helped pick up 7300 tonnes of

rubbish on Clean Up Australia Day

but that haul is down 3% on last

year. Clean up sauce day chairman

Ian Kiernan says it shows Aussies

are mindful of the environment all year round.

Convicted drug smuggler Schapelle

Corby could be back in Australia by

Christmas. The Rudd Government has

reportedly held secret talks with

officials in Indonesia to finalise

a prisoner transfer treaty. a prisoner transfer treaty. The

deal would allow Corby and at least

three members of the Bali Nine to

serve out the remainder of their sentences

sentences in Australian jails.

Corby is serving a 20-year prison term

term for drug smuggling.

Iran's President has begun a

landmark visit to Iraq. Mahmoud

Ahmadinejad received a red Ahmadinejad received a red carpet

welcome when he arrived in the country. He's the first Iranian

head of state to visit Iraq since

the war between the two countries

in the 1980s which left more than a

million people dead. The Iranian

President says it opens a new chapter in relations between the former foes.

Australian fashion designer

Collette Dinnigan has wowed the

crowds at Paris Fashion Week.

Showcasing her 2008 autumn/winter collection, 'Midnight in Moscow', din

din began was at only Australian

invited -- Dinnigan was the only

Australian invited to exhibit at

the event.

Inspired by Russian military and

rock stars, the parade had plenty

of black as well as fitted dresses

embellished with metallics and

sequins. The designer is

celebrating her 12th year at the prestigious Fashion Week.

prestigious Fashion Week.

A brilliant century from Sachin

Tendulkar has steered India to a

1-0 lead in cricket's Tri-Series

finals. It's the 42nd tonne of Tendulkar's one-day career. There

it is. Wonderful! Incredibly, it

was his first century in Australia.

A fourth-wicket stand of 123 with young gun Rohit Sharma young gun Rohit Sharma guiding

India to victory. Game two is in brings tomorrow. -- Brisbane tomorrow. Pre-season injuries continue to

plague AFL clubs with the Kangaroos

and Hawks the latest to suffer casualties. Kangaroos coach Dean Laidley has already called on the AFL to shorten its preseason and Jess Sinclair's injury will only strengthen his claims. Oh, look, he's done some ligaments in his thumb, it's dislocated, so they're probably saying 6-plus. Sinclair will have surgery to repair the ligament damage in his thumb, while Hawthorn youngster Beau Muston will have scans later this week to confirm he'll need his third knee reconstruction in as many years. It doesn't look good for Musto. He's a terrific lad and he's worked really, really hard and we'll do whatever we can, if it's a bad one,

to give him the support No injury concerns for the Crows after they soared into the NAB Cup Grand Final. COMMENTATOR: Burton! One of the big-time marks! I think everyone could see that coming -

it was just unfolding in slow motion. Adelaide will host St Kilda in the decider on Saturday night. Luke Schneider, Ten News.

Troy Bayliss has farewelled Phillip

Island by winning both races in a

day of Superbike carnage.

Race one set the tone. Mikael

Fabritzio's Ducati stalled on the Fabritzio's Ducati stalled on the

startline. That was not enough to

stop Bayliss. Who took us race one in sensational style.

COMMENTATOR: There he is, what a

legend! What a champion! How good

is that? More spills in race two.

Aussie Troy Corser one to go, followed

followed not long after by Max Biaggi.

Oh, Max is down! That's a big off!

Oh, luckily the bike just misses

him. Ouch! Bayliss capped his

goodbye with a race two win.

Greater mortgage pain is looming

for home borrowers with the Reserve

Bank meeting tomorrow to discuss

another rate rise. With more I'm

joined live by Craig James from

CommSec. Analysts are widely tipping another 0.25% hike. Is a

rate rise all but certain? Yes,

Frank, it is pretty much certain.

We'd have to see a dramatic plunge in Wall Street overnight for the

Reserve Bank to hold off on hiking

rates. We're hiking rates because

our economy is doing a little too

well at the moment due to the strength of China pushing up

inflation. That's tomorrow. What

about the long-term outlook? There

are suggestions higher rates could

be here to stay. Well, our economy

is doing very well at the moment.

We're seeing higher prices for

commodities across the board. China

is going gang busters and that will

continue to prop up the Australian

economy in coming years. We are

factoring in another interest rate

hike in May of 0.25%. So the

short-term prognosis is bad if

you're wanting interest rates to

come down. Finally, Craig, what can

we expect on the markets today. For

longer-term investors, probably the

best advice is to close your eyes

and forget about today. It's going

to be ugly on the share to be ugly on the share market.

We're looking for a decline

something in the order of 150

points. It's due to fears of a

recession in the US rather recession in the US rather then

weakness here. The weakness we're

seeing on global share markets is

very much not just the case here in Australia. Australia. It's replicated around

the world. Dark couple of days

coming up. Craig James, thank you.

Thank you.

A little brighter on the weather front today .

In today's newspapers, the 'Sydney

Morning Herald' has more on a new

poll which shows one in five

Sydneysiders are looking at leaving

the city due to the high cost of

living and mortgage stress.

And as you heard Craig James say,

predictions higher interest rates

could be with us for quite a while

yet due to the soaring cost of

borrowing, that story in the

'Sydney Morning Herald' also.

HIV infection rates predicted to

soar within seven years. Details on

that and more when the early news returns.

You're watching Ten's Early News. Making

Making headlines this morning: Housing crisis. The Rudd

Government to unveil ways to tackle nationwide housing stress.

Fears HIV infection rates will

skyrocket across the country over

the next seven years.

No end to the bloodshed. Violence

once again rocks the Gaza Strip.

And in sport, Aussie Tim And in sport, Aussie Tim Cahill

stars for Everton in a dominant display against Portsmouth.

Now for our final look at the

markets with Frank Coletta.

Thank you, Kath.

It was a brutal end to the

trading week on Wall Street, investors are worried about the

financial sector with a warning

firms could end up facing $600

billion in losses.

Inflakes is at a 16-year high. It's a worrying time for mortgageholders.

More on that in a moment.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will

unveil figures today showing the

true extent of the mortgage stress

gripping low and middle-income

Australians. Research commissioned

by the Government shows a 1.1

million people spend a third of

their income on housing. At a

keynote speech in Brisbane, the PM

will outline more Government plans

to combat the crisis. Home-owners

in Sydney's outer suburbs are some

of the worst hit where property

values have plummeted after the

housing boom of 2004. It's been revealed hundreds of homes have

been bought and sold at a loss,

with many losing more than 40% in value.

And with the Reserve Bank expected

to lift interest rates to lift interest rates again tomorrow, the Federal Government

says it's dead serious about

reining in spending ahead of the

May budget. Massive spending cuts

are on the way to help curb

inflation. The Government says some

program wills get the chop while

others will be trimmed down. We others will be trimmed down. We are

going to ensure that we do cut into

Government spending, get rid of wasteful and inefficient programs

and put serious downward pressure

on inflation. The Opposition says a

deliberate slowdown in the economy

may put people out of work. The RBA

is set to raise rates by 0.25%. The Victorian Government has taken

a hit in the polls, losing ground to the newly form Coalition.

According to the latest Newspoll,

Labor has lost eight points to the

Opposition by holds a commanding 12

point lead on a 12 two party

preferred basis. John Brumby

retains a firm lead over the

Liberal leader. Ted Bailieu's

voter satisfaction is at 38%, nine

points behind the Premier.

It's feared HIV infection rates

will more than double in parts of

Australia over the next seven years. A

A new report says that if the

current trends continue, rates of

HIV will jump by 73% in vorj -- in

Victoria and 20% in Queensland.

Researchers are blaming reduced

condom usage and the increase in other

other sexually transmitted

infections which make a person more

susceptible to transmitting HIV. A A warning to home-owners with backyard

backyard diction after a 3m backyard diction after a 3m high

balcony collapsed in Melbourne

taking 20 people with it. Two were

seriously hurt. Experts say many decks aren't properly reinforced.

An engagement party turned into

chaos, the back any collapsing,

injuring 13 of the 20 guests, some

standing under it. Some were

covered in blood. They were pulling

out a woman whose leg was sort of off and her bone was sticking out.

The gentleman who was underneath

the deck came off the worst and I

think he's got a possible fracture

of his hip or pelvis.

Leading architects warn there are

thousands of potential deathtraps

in back yards across the country.

Balconies built in the '80s or

earlier are a particular danger, as

are those built by home-owners

without council permits.

We estimate there are 8,000 diction

or balconies that are or balconies that are potentially

fatal and by that we mean decks

high enough above the ground in bad enough

enough condition that a large party

on them could lead to people being killed.

killed. A post-mortem will be

carried out today on a body found

in the Gold Coast hinterland

yesterday. The badly decomposing

corpse was discovered by three

locals looking for a spot to fish.

Police are investigating the possibility

possibility of murder. We are

treating it as suspicious. At this

stage it's an early investigation.

But we are treating it as

suspicious. A search of the area

has failed to turn up a weapon. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

has suspended all contact with

Israel after a series of missile

attacks which killed 100 people.

The move came after Israeli Prime

Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to

continue the assault on the Gaza

Strip. UN Secretary-General Ban

Ki-Moon has condemned Israel for

the violence. Instead of heeding

the UN's call for calm, Israel is

preparing to step up the offensive.

The attacks bring an end to US-led

peace talks which began again in November.

American legal warrior Erin

Brockovich is taking on one of

WA's industrial giants. In her

first Australian case, Brockovich

will allege pollution from Alcoa's

aluminium refineries has damaged

the health of nearby residents. The

celebrity environmental campaigner

has won millions for clients in the

US. Her exploits made famous by

Julia Roberts in the movie 'Erin Brockovich'.

A world first in Victoria with A world first in Victoria with a second-generation platypus born in

captivity. The milestone is special because there are two of them.

These are the very first pictures

of platypuss whose parents were

born in captivity, making them the world's only second-generation

captive-bred platypus. Their eggs

were hatched last October and

following incubation, the following incubation, the pair

emerged. It's proving that we have

come up with the right ingredients

to breed platypus in captivity.

It's proven to us that we've got

the right set-up. We can now

sustain a captive population. One

parent is from Sydney's Taronga Zoo,

the other's Victoria's Healesville

sanctuary which welcomed the

world's first captive-bred platypus

in 1944. We've found the reasons

why they breed in captivity.

Whereas before it's been very hard

to collect data. The breakthrough

also good news for tourism. Nowhere

else in the world can you see a

platypus in captivity other than

here in Australia. Both young will

remain with their parents for a

year before joining the platypus

breeding program at other zoos.

India has gone 1-0 up in cricket's India has gone 1-0 up in cricket's

Tri-Series finals and it's all because of the great Sachin Tendulkar.

His unbeaten century steering the

tourists to a six-wicket win.

This was Sachin Tendulkar at his

brilliant best, crafting his first limited-overs century on Australian

soil. Well, it's no better moment

than today to score a hundred, yeah.

India dominated most of the game,

spoiling Adam Gilchrist's Sydney farewell, then knocking over

Ponting and Michael Clarke cheaply.

Oh, that's out! Hayden gave the

innings some spine, tearing into

Pathan on his way to 82, before

hauling out on Harbhajan Singh.

Hayden sweeps and is out! A points

decision to Harbhajan, helping the

Aussies to 239, then helping

himself to a classic in the outfield.

The mix-up with Tendulkar saw

Gambir run out. Hogg bamboozled

Yuvraj. There was no breaking Little Yuvraj. There was no breaking the

Little Master but Lee almost did on 98.

But his 42nd one-day tonne and a

stylish 66 from Rohit Sharma saw

India draw first blood in the best-of-three finals series.

A strong performance from Aussie

Tim Cahill has helped Everton to a

3-1 Premier League win over

Portsmouth. Everton took the first

goal within a minute thanks to the

head of Yakubu. Not long after, Tim

Cahill was creating chances.

Before half-time, Portsmouth

equalised but in the 73rd minute,

the Australian struck.

Great chance and a goal. Tim Cahill's

Cahill's goal drought is over!

Everton are now three points clear of Liverpool.

Finance new with Frank and high

interest rates could be here to

stay. Say it isn't so. I'm the bearer of bad news this morning,

Kath. Sadly that's the worrying

suggestion. Soaring borrowing costs

mean mortgageholders could be in

for longer periods of higher interest rates. Greater concern

about global economic growth and defaultd rates driving up the cost

of credit. Bank now passing - are

now likely to pass on higher costs

to customers rather than absorbing

them. Businesses are also feeling

the pinch with the cost of corporate borrowing soaring to 15-year corporate borrowing soaring to a

15-year high. Financial markets are

widely tipping a 0.25% rate hike

when the Reserve Bank meets tomorrow.

BHP Billiton has given the green

light to a capital expenditure

project in South Africa. The

billion-dollar program will help

boost the mining giant's thermal

coal reserves in that country. Two

mining areas will be mining areas will be developed extending the life of extending the life of its Douglas-mid-berg project to 2034.

Macquarie bank are believed to be

considering a bid for one of

Britain's biggest airports. BAA has

$18 billion in debts and could

offload Heathrow or Gatwick. Thank you, Frank.

Now a cute story. Germany's most

famous polar bear cub, Knut, is set

it become a film star. 'Knut and

Friends' has premiered at Berlin

zoo. The cub gained media attention

when he was orphaned by his mother

in 2006 and raised by zoo staff. Unfortunately, the movie won't be aired in Australia.

A look now at the national weather details for the day ahead:

That's it. Bye for now. Have a

great day. Supertext Captions by Red Bee Media Australia.