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Ten Morning News -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Australia's health funds under fire Making news this morning - yet another fee hike. after asking for 2-year-old refugee The death of a critically ill of our immigration department. brings more condemnation dramatic rescues in Queensland. And wild seas lead to Ten News with Natarsha Belling. Good morning. should brace themselves First, health fund members in the new year. for another big increase in premiums tipped to be up to 7%, The funds have put in their bids, twice the inflation rate. or more than for families. That could mean an extra $170 a year It will be the fifth year in a row hefty rises, the funds have been granted despite a recent surge in profits. nobody likes premium increases Health Minister Tony Abbott says strictly necessary will be approved. and only those deemed is in Canberra. Political reporter Greg Turnbull possibly justify such a big increase? Greg, how could the health funds Well,

with some difficulty, you

would think. But they'll probably with some difficulty, you

get away with it because they've

done so. This will be the fifth

year in a row if the increases are

granted that they've been given

increases at around about double

the inflation rate. And the way

that they get away with it is I

guess because of the numbers of the that they get away with it is I

health industry. The cost of health

medicine and hospital provision of

services does run right ahead of

services does run right ahead of the inflation rate at roughly

double the inflation rate and

that's because, we're told of the

immense price of new technology in

the hospital area and also, I guess

because the health funds will stay

as they always do, that the because the health funds will stay

statistics show that the demand for

the services has increased. The I

think the increase in hospital

visits was 8%. That's running above think the increase in hospital

the inflaigs rate and that's

probably because of factors like

the ageing population. But there

will be a lot of political fallout the ageing population. But there

for the Government and the

Government doesn't like it. And the for the Government and the

Labor Party are straight on to it.

About an hour ago in Adelaide, this

was the reaction of the shadow

Health Minister, Julia Gillard. So

it is not fair if the increases are

not justified and I'm sceptical

about whether or not they are not justified and I'm sceptical

justified when the two biggest funds

are profitable and when the Howard justified when the two biggest funds

Government doesn't put the industry are profitable and when the Howard

under pressure whatsoever. So the

Health Minister, Tony Abbott says

nobody likes to see premiums go up.

But is there any likelyhood that

the increases will be knocked back?

On recent history, you would say

probably not. But you've got to

take Tony Abbott at the sin

certificateity of his words that certificateity of his words that

the Government will try to trim it certificateity of his words that

back. While it it hurts families

and individual members, it hurts

the Government because they foot

30% of the bill. So when the funds

go up, so does the 30% subsidy that

the Government pays. We'll have to

wait and see. Thank you Greg for

joining us from Canberra. into refugee care in Australia Another government investigation is under way a critically ill African boy died after it was revealed in the country for treatment. just hours after arriving

who had sickle-cell anaemia, The 2.5-year-old, last month arrived with his family from Burundi and were met by a case worker. in a western Sydney flat But the family was then left and told to dial 000 in an emergency. the boy began convulsing and died Just 18 hours later, who couldn't speak English, because his parents, how to use the phone. hadn't been told two dramatic ocean rescues Rough seas have led to in Queensland's south-east. after his vessel capsized One man is missing while a father and his two children their tiny fishing boat. were forced to abandon for a Queensland family Terrifying moments in Moreton Bay. threatened by rising winds and seas

started taking water before dawn. Their little tinny abandoned a holiday fishing treat So a worried father of his 5- and 2-year-olds. to protect the lives MAN: Just taking the waves side on pretty quickly. and the boat was filling up The dad started bailing, rescuers to his foundering craft. using a mobile phone to guide Water police carefully picked through the rough chop to snatch the children to safety. for their father. But the kids were frightened A few minutes more and he was safe. The craft was easily salvaged back to shore, before the family was ferried the trio rattled by the nightmare. Horrible, just horrible, eh. To stop his children panicking, until help arrived - the dad lulled them to sleep to his great relief. were 100% safe then. It was good, good 'cause I knew they at Moreton Island. Big weekend, big week The kids proud of their dad. He did well. of a fisherman The seas also claimed the life off Peel Island. tossed from a 6-metre fibreglass boat waters for four hours before light. His two companions struggled in rough

ashore at a remote bay. They eventually dragged themselves to take greater care on the water Police are warming boaties changeable summer weather. and beware Queensland's Sharon Marshall, Ten News. after two men were shot A dramatic arrest in Melbourne a suspected car thief. after confronting now by their side in hospital. Members of the victims' families police move in on a suspect. After a 4.5-hour search for a gunman, by detectives and armed police The man cornered in a garden bed around 7:00 this morning. Officers mindful of the hour. MAN: Ah! Ah! MAN: Shut up. are trying to sleep. People around here the ground, then taken into custody. The man briefly questioned on for the shooting. You're under arrest, OK, Around 3:30 this morning, two men -

and another visiting from NSW - one from Melbourne trying car door handles in a street. confronted an armed man but they kept following him. He fired a warning shot The offender produced a semi-automatic hand gun what police believe to be

and a number of shots were fired, striking both of the males.

For neighbours, there was no mistaking the sounds. I heard these two loud bangs and it didn't sound like a car backfiring, because you're used to them. One victim was shot in the stomach and remains in a critical but stable condition.

The other was hit in the leg. Police claim to have found two guns on their suspect who's now undergoing psychiatric assessment. Distressed family and friends of the victims have arrived at hospital to see their loved ones. Christopher Still, Ten News. Rural and metropolitan fire services are on high alert all around the nation amid soaring temperatures and the threat of more lightning strikes. Victorian fire crews are keeping watch on outbreaks across the State, many of them sparked by strikes during thunderstorms. Holiday campers have been advised to leave several popular areas. In NSW, high temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds

are also causing concern for firefighters. Although total fire bans have been lifted in many areas, much of the State remains on alert with weather conditions posing an extreme fire risk. At least four people are dead and three missing after a series of bushfires in the US. Strong winds and unusually warm winter temperatures have created deadly conditions in the nation's south. Residents watch helplessly as dozens of mobile homes are destroyed. When I stepped outside I was like, "Oh, my God, there's fire in that yard over there." And that's whenever I called 911. 12 caravans in one park gone in what seemed like an instant. Their shed went up in flames. It had a lot of paints and chemicals in it. In 24 hours, emergency workers have been called to fight 70 blazes across Texas and Oklahoma. We went inside to get a drink of water because there was so much smoke, and then I looked out the window and it was in our backyard. It was that quick. The fires have been fuelled by a mix of deadly conditions. Texas is experiencing its driest winter in 50 years, with daily temperatures nearing 30 degrees. 65km winds are driving the flames, which have so far engulfed more than 100 homes. We spent a lot of Christmases in that house, birthdays. That's where we made our home with our children. Now we've lost the house. The Reas' house went up in flames but thankfully their two dogs escaped alive. They were in the backyard huddled together on ashes. Furious authorities have taken to the airwaves to warn residents to be more careful. They believe most of the fires have been sparked by locals ignoring the fire bans, burning rubbish, dropping cigarette butts and setting off fireworks. At least three residents are still missing, feared dead, after fires swept through remote areas. Firefighters hope cooler conditions in coming days

will give them breathing space to control the deadly fires. In the United States, Rahni Sadler, Ten News. To yachting, and supermaxi 'Wild Oats XI' is still on track to take a record three titles from this year's Sydney-Hobart race. She already holds line honours and the race record and still has a chance of collecting handicap honours. Cameron Baud is watching the finishing yachts in Hobart. the

crew of Glamour Supermaxi 'Wild

Oats XI' say they aren't greedy but

are on the verge of taking out the

glory. It's all but certain they'll

become the first boat since the

inaugral Sydney to Hobart race in

1935 of winning the three biggest

1935 of winning the three biggest prizes. There's only one other

competitor which at this stage has

competitor which at this stage has a theatrical chance of winning on

handicap, the Queensland entry

handicap, the Queensland entry which happens to be the oldest

yacht in the race. At this stage,

they would have to make it to port

by 10:00 tonight but on current

projections aren't due to make it

until 6:00 tomorrow. Yesterday we

managed to catch up with the

managed to catch up with the skipper, Mark Richards and got his

thoughts on the the historic hat-trick

We're ecstatic but to get the

handicap honours would be great. So

handicap honours would be great. So far, 16 boats have finished the

far, 16 boats have finished the race overnight and this morning.

Just two retirements from the

85-strong fleet. Still to come in Ten's Morning News - former rocker Gary Glitter buys his way out of child rape charges. And an Arctic blast bringing a late white Christmas to Europe.

This program is captioned live. Melbourne detectives are investigating an overnight fire that destroyed a church in the city's west. It took the 10m-high flames just minutes to gut the timber building. Fire crews arriving in time to save neighbouring weatherboard homes.

Watching it here, it was just horror and fear that I'd lose the house. Neighbours say the timber church was well known as a residence for squatters. Two men are helping police with their inquiries. A power surge is believed to have sparked a house fire in Sydney's west that led to the discovery of a $1 million drug lab.

The blaze caused extensive damage to the house, and firemen called police after finding suspicious items in several rooms. Police seized more than 300 marijuana plants with a street value of more than $1 million. It's believed a power surge overloaded electrical wiring

used in an hydroponic set-up to grow the plants. Former rock star Gary Glitter may have paid his way out of a date with a Vietnamese firing squad. The former star has given close to $4,000 each to the families of an 11-year-old and a 12-year-old he's accused of abusing. In exchange, they've written to the court asking rape charges be dropped. Prosecutors say they'll now probably downgrade the charges to committing lewd acts, the maximum penalty for which is 12 years jail.

Glitter's been in a Vietnamese prison since his arrest last month. Freezing temperatures are spreading chaos over much of Europe, where highways have been cut and drivers trapped in their cars. The record low swept in from Britain,

and forecasters warn worse is on the way. From the air, it seems as if all of Britain is an aisle of white.

It seems as if all of Britain is an

aisle of white. 30 centimetres of

aisle of white. 30 centimetres of snow covers much of the south-east.

Those drivers foolish enough to

ignore the warnings to stay inside

were ominously advised to take

food and water with them, and a

shovel. All face a long wait for

earth-moving equipment to dig them out. Yesterday, there

earth-moving equipment to dig them out. Yesterday, there was a lot of

out. Yesterday, there was a lot of snow B and roads like this,

probably only 4X4s could travel. In

France, not even four-wheel drives

are moving. On a scale of one to

four, authorities have rated this

a category three disaster. Highways

are literally frozen and those who

turned into side streets have no

where to go and no choice but to

where to go and no choice but to wait in their cars for a thaw. This

man trapped for close to 12 hours,

man trapped for close to 12 hours, all he can do is wait for the

firecrews who have gone from

battling blazes to handing out

emergency supplies of food and

water. Others seek shelter where

they can, and it's getting worse.

Snow has started to fall in Germany.

For now, little more than an

For now, little more than an inconvenience and a boom to

fun-loving school children. But

more snow is forecast and

temperatures are tipped to drop to

10 degrees below freezing.

Still ahead - the latest word from the money markets. The second cricket Test. And a spectacular launch for Europe's answer to satellite navigation.

This program is captioned live. To finance news, and a good start to the day for the Australian share market. Juliana Roadley at Commonwealth Securities,

and has there been any delayed reaction to the PBL share price?

Well, PBL shares are up 10 cents

this morning, that means they've

given back half of yesterday's

losses and it shows that investors

are confident in the current

management. It means that they're

ready to move ahead in 2006.

Yesterday we heard that Jamie

Packer was back in the office as

Packer was back in the office as the new pressure is put on from the

five year AFL rights deal. And BHP

still showing the market it is the

big Australian? BHP moved into a

record high just after they opened

today. Up 1% to $22.80 a share. And

that was on the back of higher oil

prices and the lift in the copper

prices. It looks like the share

price is set to continue into 2006

price is set to continue into 2006 on the merry way. As we expect

on the merry way. As we expect higher commodity prices and the

demand for commodities are still

increasing in Asia and are

expected to still gain out until 2010. To sport, and the Australians will be looking to set South Africa a big second innings target on day four of the second Test at the MCG. After a lean stretch, Andrew Symonds will be desperate to make amends with the bat to follow on from his day out with the ball yesterday. Third day was moving day.

Andrew Symonds lapping up his new role as the removalist. He ripped through the South African top order

and celebrated like a man who needed something to go right. COMMENTATOR: That's got to be close. It's gone a long way across there. And he's given him!

Did you see any of the celebrations, mate? It was a great relief as well by the same token. His three wickets helped Australia to a 44-run lead and may have finally given him the feeling he belongs in Test cricket. Probably have another bat yet as well, so hopefully I can draw some confidence off my bowling over the last couple of days and that sort of flows in my batting hopefully. Brett Lee now seems entirely comfortable and was unplayable at times. Phil Jaques received a taste of Test cricket but was the first Australian batsman to go. COMMENTATOR: Big shout. Yes! There was also a rare failure for Ricky Ponting. Oh, that's close. That's got to be out. Yes, up goes the finger! But Australia has pushed on and has a sizeable lead. It will be tough for the South Africans to pinch the game batting last on a wearing pitch. Rob Waters, Ten News. Lleyton Hewitt is back on court in Adelaide today, preparing for his comeback early in the new year. Hewitt's had three months away from competitive tennis through injury and the birth of his first child. His former Davis Cup team-mate Todd Woodbridge has landed a job just six months after retiring as coach of Swede Thomas Johansson. He asked me if I could help him, and he's a pretty good guy to start on the coaching road with - number 14 in the world. Woodbridge and Johansson's first stop is the Hopman Cup in Perth, where Australia will be represented by Wayne Arthurs and Samantha Stosur. Socceroo Harry Kewell has played a hand in Liverpool's away win over Everton, their ninth straight Premier League victory. The Reds started strongly at Goodison Park with two goals in the opening 18 minutes. Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard on target with this impressive strike. COMMENTATOR: Gerrard. He'll have a go. Deflected it in! Everything is going Liverpool's way right now.

Everton responded just before half-time with some flashy work finished off by James Beattie. Kewell's pass to Djibril Cisse early in the second half sealed a 3-1 win over the 9-man Everton team, which had two players sent off late in the game. The Europeans have successfully launched what they say will be better than the American military's GPS system. The multibillion-dollar Galileo project plans to circle the Earth with satellites to give locations within a metre. Lift-off for Europe's grandest venture into space so far. Packed inside the tip of this Russian rocket is a tiny British satellite, the start of a European challenge to America's domination of the vital technology of satellite navigation. It's quite important that Europe has an independent capability on this. To be reliant just on one system, particularly if it is a military system, doesn't make a lot of sense.

The spacecraft is now in orbit. Soon it will start testing the new technologies to be used in the system, more accurate, it's said, than the American GPS equivalent, and paving the way for a network of 30 satellites over the next 5 years. The satellite will locate anything to within a metre. That will allow for more precise navigation. Monitoring traffic would be easier and rescuers could swiftly pinpoint people in trouble. The launch this morning was faultless.

Now comes the real test - making the system work in space and getting the rest of the world to adjust to it.

And I'll be back with the latest weather details in just a minute.

# Her manners aren't perfect Change so many clothes... # Fabulous. New Pixel Chix interactive game. A 2-D girl in a 3-D world. This program is captioned live. Now for a look at the national weather.

First it was the Taj Mahal. Now India has produced a new architectural triumph.

The country's bakers have made a replica of London's Tower Bridge out of cake. 10 metres wide and 4 metres high,

it took six designers more than a month to create. The giant confection was part of an annual display of cake-making skills that is attracting hundreds of admirers. While it's no theme park, the city's children will get more than a visual treat from the display. The exhibits are to be donated to local orphanages. And that's the latest from the Ten news room. Stay with us for updates throughout the day and the full details in Ten's news hour tonight. I'm Natarsha Belling. Good afternoon. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre.