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Ten Early News -

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Good morning. Welcome to Ten's

Early News. Sydney savaged by a one

in 20-year storm. Torrential rain

and hail causing chaos across that

city. Air officials to examine the

scene of afffatal mid-air collision.

An extremist dubbed Osama bin

London, convicted of running terror

camps in Britain. Brett Lee caps a

career best summer to win the Allan Border Medal.

Finance, though, a first look at

the markets? Thank you and good

morning. A sharper than expected

drop in consumer confidence has

been overlooked by investors after

IBM announceed it will buy back $15 billion in shares.

Coming up - a tough lesson for ABC

after a $750 million sell-off. All

the details in just under 10

minutes. Sydney is cleaning up

again after being savaged by a 1 in

20-year storm. Hail and a month's

worth of rain fell in just 30

minutes, causing chaos with roof

collapses, a mine drama and big

trouble on the road. An underground

motorbike work shop under water. Mechanics devastated. It's all under water, mate. My under water, mate. My whole life.

Everything's in that car and my

dirt bike. Nothing else left. 70

millimetres of rain fell in just

over an hour. 15 minutes you could

have surfed down here. The down

pour came in a furious short burst,

the snow-like hail causing road

closures. Patrons were evacuated

after the roof collapsed at an RSL

club. More evacuations at the Appin

coal mine. The torrential rain

caused road works to collapse in

the city's east, trapping residents in their homes. Emergency crews

were kept busy throughout the night.

Part of this building collapsed

after being struck by lightning.

Forecasters warn more storms are on

the way over the coming week. The

Queensland Government has launched

an emergency plan to lure back

tourists after widespread flooding

there. The deluge in the State's

holiday cancellations. The north has triggered hundreds of

Government will spend $150,000 promoting the State to entice

tourists back. The estimated

financial cost to the industry is

$4.5 million so far. The bureau is warning there's more rain on the

way. Air safety officials will

today examine the scene of a fatal

mid-air collision between two crop

dusters in northern NSW. The planes

collided near Wee Waa yesterday

morning. A 60-year-old pilot died

at the scene. The other managed to

drag himself from the wreckage,

despite suffering serious injuries.

He was airlifted to hospital and

remains in a stable condition. The

mother of a young person hit and

run has challenged the driver to come forward. George Parfitt is

recovering from serious head

injuries after being hit by a

four-wheel drive. Police are still

hunting the male driver. I just

can't believe that there are people

out there like this, you know? Too

upsetting. George is expected to

stay in hospital for at least

another week. Victoria's teachers

are vowing to continue their fight

for better pay. More than 1,000

walked off the job yesterday,

causing mass disruptions and the

union is threatening more strike

action until the State Government

gets the message. Hundreds of

fed-up teachers rallied outside

Premier John Brumby's electoral

office. Pushing a 10% pay claim

they say the Government's

counteroffer is pathetic. 3.25% is

a joke, Mr Brumby. The Premier

refusing requests for a face to

face showdown. People expect face showdown. People expect the Minister

Minister or the Premier to be there

and it's not practical or and it's not practical or realistic.

More than 150 schools were forced to close with thousands of students

and their parent affected. I had to

take a whole day off work so I

could be home to look after both my

children. Probably the only way

they can get their voices across

and their opinions but it's a pain

for parents. And it's just the

beginning. The union threatening

more rolling stoppages in March and

April. NSW Premier Morris Iemma is

under incrosing pressure to abandon

his power-sale plan. 15 Labor MPs

joined 4,000 people outside

Parliament House protesting against

a proposal to sell off electricity retailers and lease out power

generators. My view is we're going

to Sunday big message to the

Premier, and to those those Labor

MPinisicide here that the

electricity industry belongs to the

people of NSW and it's not for sale.

Unions warn there will be even

bigger protests ahead if the

Premier doesn't change his mind. A

man dubbed Osama bin lund00 has

been found guilty in -- London has

been found guilty in Britain of

organising extreme training camps.

Terror training, not in the

Pakistan mountains, but in the

English countryside. These men are

only pointing sticks but the

prosecution successfully argued

this camp in the New Forest and

others in Britain were being used

to turn out Islamic terrorists. The

court was told some of those attempted to bomb London's court was told some of those who

underground passed through these

camps. This man allowed cameras to

film paint ball sessions that he

organised in the Lake District,

Kent and Sussex. This was a front.

It was all part of a scheme to

recruit and train young Islamic

terrorists. But their conversations were being bugged:

Today, Hamid and his Today, Hamid and his fellow

ringleader were found guilty of

soliciting murder. Three of their

pupils were convicted of attending

the camps. London's Heathrow has

lost its crown as the world's

biggest airport. Today, the new Beijing airport has been unveiled

in China ahead of the Olympics. It

was built in just four years and

covers the size of 230 football

pitches. It opens for business on

Friday and will have an estimated

90 million passengers passing

through the terminal every year.

Cricket's hostile summer is set to

flare up again. Matthew Hayden

labelling Indian spinner Harbhajan

Singh an obnoxious little weed. He

said it on Brisbane radio. After

taking out the Test player of the

Year award, Brett Lee edged out

Hayden to win the award. Mum and

Dad asked me what I wanted to be

when I was young, and I wanted to

play for Australia and be the

world's fastest bowler. The AFL has

been forced to defend its regional

challenge series after a spate of season-ending knee?Juries. The

league is confident its outlining

venues are up to AFL standard. back to the bush, They might have taken the game regional challenge series but the AFL's the state of the playing surfaces. has attracted plenty of criticism for Already this season, knee reconstructions. five players have required that where we stage these games, We are 100% satisfied we follow it is an intensive process are at AFL standard. to make sure the grounds new official timekeeper tonight, At the launch for the AFL's Swans star Adam Goodes revealed on his wrecked knee. after revolutionary new surgery the football club He was walking around without crutches today, so I think... the operation that he had is a bit out there, and I think it gives him an opportunity to get back training if he'd had the full reco. a lot quicker than what he would New Blues skipper Chris Judd has finally laid down some expectations for his new team. I guess if we were to win 8 to 10 games that would be a pretty solid result for us, coming off where we did last year.

Roger Oldridge, Ten News.

Let's get in to finance now with

Kath. ABC Learning in crisis? Its stock plummeting up to 70% at one stage. Shares there hit a 7-year

low of $1.15 after announcing a 42%

slump in profits. Investor concern

over debts of $1.4 billion. The equity that's going in to the

business is growing faster than the

profits that are coming out of the

business. It's as sital as that.

While Eddy Groves remains mum on

the issue, directors are being

rumoured to sell shares. Shares closed at $2.14. Woolworth shares

have surged back over the $30 mark,

following a 20% boost in first-half

profits. Net profit rose almost

$900 million and remains on course

to lift between 19% and 23% this

year. In a bid to stave off Coles

stealing any market share, Michael

Luscombe announced a $2 billion capital and operational spend.

The national weather for Thursday:

Taking a look at today's papers.

Claims the NSW Planning Minister

approved a land rezoning for a

developer who had donated to the

Labor Party. The 'Sydney Morning

Herald''s Business Day as more on

the ABC Learning Centres' market

route. A Victorian gambling giant

predicts punters will spend $4

billion this year on lottery

tickets. And still to come - tickets. And still to come - caught

in the net. Homes raided in a massive tax fraud operation. SONG: # Get rhythm... # GIRL: These days, everybody's talking about saving water but there's one Australian company already helping us to save water in lots of ways - from launching a program to put water tanks in our schools to making roofs and gutters from COLORBOND steel and tanks so we can collect the rain at home. Yep, when it comes to saving Australia's water, we've got plenty of scope. # Get rhythm... # BlueScope. # When you get the blues. #

This is Ten's Early News. Record

rain and hail pommels Sydney. A storm flooding businesses and homes.

Caught in the net - 20 Australian

homes raided in an international

tax fraud bust. Beijing opens the

doors to its major new airport

ahead of the Olympic Games. And in

other sports news - Anthony Mundine

defending Ben Cousins's withdrawal

from tonight's world title fight undercard. To finance news and the

energy and tech sectors leading

Wall Street. News IBM is conducting

a huge share buy back and a strong

oil price overshadowed an earlier

report that concerned investors

over inflation and consumer

confidence hit a 5-year low.

Shares in QBE take a dive. All the

details shortly. Thank you. Sydney

residents are cleaning up this

morning after the city was hit by a

severe storm, some areas received a

month's rain in just 30 minutes.

The downpour so intense the Weather

Bureau's called it a 1 in 20-year

event. Suburbs were lashed by strong winds, hail and flooding.

This underground motorcycle shop

under water. 10 or 15 minutes you

could have surfed down here. More

storms are expected over the coming

week. Rain continues to fall in

North Queensland but the North Queensland but the thriving

tourism industry has all but dried

up. Holidays booked months ago have

been cancelled. It's a painful

irony, soaking rain bringing

much-needed relief to the State's

farmers but also washing away

millions of tourism dollars. We

have a lot osmall operators that

rely on year-round business.

Popular beaches are isolated,

hotels are suffering after a wave

of cancellations. Having

cancellations due to people

perceiving there's too much rain to

get through can be detrimental to

their businesses. Rockhampton is still

still mopping up the damage after

its latest deluge. Its second flood

in three weeks. While in three weeks. While the streets

of Mackay are littered with damaged

possessions. Even a preseason NRL

match was forced to relocate. But now the State Government has

stepped in, announcing a $150,000

package to entice valuable tourists package to entice valuable tourists

back. The estimated financial cost

to the industry is $4.5 million so

far. The bureau says more rain is

on the way. The Tax Office has

raided the homes of 20 Australians

believed to be hoarding millions of dollars

dollars in a European tax haven.

The ATO won't reveal the identities of

of those involved but says the of those involved but says the cash

is being hidden in secret bank

accounts in Liechtenstein. The Tax

Office says it's offering reduced

penalties for those who voluntarily disclose disclose their offshore

disclose their offshore accounts.

Victoria's teachers are stepping up

their fight for better pay,

threatening more strikes. Hundreds

walked off the job yesterday.

They're pushing a 10% pay claim and

say the Government's counteroffer is pathetic. The Education Union

has scheduled more rolling has scheduled more rolling stoppages

for March and April. Another

headache for the NSW Government

over political donations. It's been

revealed Planning Minister Frank Sartor

Sartor approved a controversial

land rezoning in the State's south

for a developer who's donated more

than $150,000 to the Labor Party.

Mr Sartor says his decision was

based solely on planning merits.

Serious concerns have been raised

over the Victorian Government's

plan to give more powers to the

Office of Police Integrity. The

State Justice Department is alarmed

about this. The former boss of

British Airways and Ansett has been

put in charge of $200 billion worth of

of key infrastructure projects. Rod Eddington will head-up

Infrastructure Australia. It's

charged with fixing backlogs in the

nation's roads, railways and ports.

The group will put together a

project's priority list within 12

months. The completion of a 4-lane

motorway linking Brisbane, Sydney

and Melbourne is believed to be at

the top of that list. The world's

bigs airport has been unveiled in

Beijing ahead of the Olympics. It's

as big as 234 football pitches and

built in just four years. In this

Olympic year, symbols of China's

sky high ambition don't come any shinier or bigger than this. The

world's largest airport snakes

along the horizon and stretches the imagination. If you like superlatives, there's nowhere

better than Beijing's new airport. It's

It's built on an absolutely

breath-taking scale. The distance

between you and me for example is

about the span of a football pitch

but overall this place is the size

of 230 Wembley Stadiums. And that's

a lot of floor space to sweep. But

the big surprise is not the size,

but the speed with which it was

built. From drawing board, to

finishing touches, and four yeerdz,

that truly staggers the airport's

British architect. Extraordinary. I

mean, four years, and you're

talking the biggest building in the

world. The end result they call a

modern rival to -- marvel to even

match the Forbidden City. The Diana inquest has been told the British

Secret Service was not tracking Secret Service was not tracking the

Princess or Dodi Al Fayed. She

couldn't find any files on the pair.

The officer is the first Mi6 agent

to be called to testify at the

inquest. The New York Philharmonic

has performed an historic concert

in North Korea. The orchestra performing North Korea's national

song and the US anthem.

The concert was planned to The concert was planned to improve

relations between the two nations.

Brett Lee has confirmed his place

in the list of Australian cricket

greats, taking out the 2008 Allan

Bord Medal. He narrowly beat

Matthew Hayden. He shouldered an

inexperienced attack in the wake of Shane

Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath's

retirement, now Brett Lee has retirement, now Brett Lee has some

more weight to carry but it's in

the form of a compact little medal.

The Allan Border Medallist for 2008 is Brett Lee. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

His transition from young tear away

to Australia's number one now to Australia's number one cricketer

now complete. I look back when I

was nine years of age, Mum and Dad

asked me what I wanted to be. My

aim was to be the world's fastest

bowler and play for Australia.

Matthew Hayden's stellar World Cup

seen him crowned as the one-day

player of the year. Humbling to

stand here and receive an award

like this. Knowing the fact you

have such magnificent players

behind you every day of the week is something

something we really savour. The

Mariners have asked Australia's FFA

to speed up the appeal against the

suspension of goalkeeper Danny

Vukovic. The 22-year-old was outed

for 15 months for striking the

referee during the A-League grand

final and has been stood down from

Sunday's Olympic lead-up match. He

would have been no good to us, his

head would have been somewhere else.

The Mariners say the suspension is

excessive. Anthony Mundine has

defended Ben Cousins's decision not

to fight on the undercard of his

world title defence against Nader

Hamden tonight. Cousins was set Hamden tonight. Cousins was set for

an exhibition bout with Sonny Bill

Williams but Mundine says the

former AFL player has done enough

to promote the anti-drugs message

behind his fight. I think he's been

such a great role model for the

cause because he's been a victim of

it and he's trying to struggle his

way through it. Mundine expects

Cousins will be ringside tomorrow

night. Back to finance now with

Kath. Class action looming for

Allco? Shareholders have slammed

the finance group for failing to

disclose the magnitude of its debts.

The Shareholders Association is

referring angry investorser to

litigation fund IMF as a class

action mounts. Allco's emergency

restructure plan to hold off its

bankers dosen't appear to have

washed with investors. Shares

falling a further 18%. Shares in

QBE insurance have taken a dive -

excuse me - after the company

revealed it's fallen short of its

top-line earnings target. While the

company was boosted with record

profits, the figure was below

expectations. QBE has been forced

to downgrade its growth forecast to

7.5%. Due to the strong 7.5%. Due to the strong Aussie

dollar and softer insurance prices.

The stock fell more than 10% on the news to $25.75. Today's

werg around Australia. Showers late for -- weather around Australia:

Investigations continue in to a

fatal crop-duster collision coming up. And the CommSec finance report when we

This is Ten's Early News. Sydney

savaged by a 1 in 20-year storm.

Air officials to examine the scene of afffatal mid-air collision

between crop-dusters. An extremist

dubbed Osama bin London convicted

of running terror camps in Britain.

Brett Lee caps a career-best summer

to win the Allan Border Medal. Time for a check of the finance

again with Kath. Good morning and

thank you. A sharper than expected

drop in consumer confidence has

been overlooked by investors have IBM

IBM announced it will buy back $15 billion in shares. Coming up - we'll speak with

CommSec for the day ahead. Thank

you. Sydney is cleaning up after

being savaged by a 1 in 20-year

storm. Hail and a mun's worth of

rain fell in 30 minutes and that

caused chaos. Roof collapses, a

mine drama and big trouble on the

roads. An underground motorbike

workshop under water. Mechanics

devastated. All under water, mate.

My whole life. Everything's in that

car and my durtd bike. Nothing else

left. 70 millimetres of rain fell

in just over an hour. 10, 15

minutes you could have surfed down

here. The down pour came in a furious short burst. The snow-like

hail causing road closures across

the State. At an RSL club, patrons

were evacuated after the roof

collapsed and more evacuations at

the Appin coal mine. The torrential

rain caused road works to collapse

in the city's east, trapping

residents in their homes. Emergency

crews were kept busy throughout the

night. Part of this building

collapsed after being struck with

lightning. Forecasters warn more

storms are on the way over the

coming week. The Queensland

Government has launched an

emergency plan to lure back emergency plan to lure back

tourists after widespread flooding.

The deluge in the State's north has triggered hundreds of holiday triggered hundreds of holiday

cancellations. The Government will

spend $150,000 promoting the State

to entice the tourists back. The

estimated financial cost to the

industry is $4.5 million so far.

The Weather Bureau says more rain

is on the way. Sair safety

officials will today examine the

scene of a fatal mid-air collision

between two crop-dusters in

northern NSW. The planes collided

near Wee Waa yesterday morning. A 60-year-old pilot died from the

scene and the other pilot was scene and the other pilot was able

to drag himself from the wreckage.

Victoria's teachers are stepping up

their fight for better way and

they're threatening more strikes.

Hundreds walked off the job for four hours yesterday, causing mass

disruptions. They're pushing a 10%

pay claim and say the Government's

counter offer is pathetic. The counter offer is pathetic. The

Education Juneian has scheduled

more -- Union has scheduled more marches. It's been revealed

Planning Minister Frank Sartor

approved a controversial land

rezoning of the State's south for a

developer who's donated more than

$150,000 to the Labor Party. Mr

Sartor says his decision was based

solely on planning merits. Iran has

praised Rudd's policy of

withdrawing our combat troops from

Iraq. The Islamic state looking to

reopen dialogue over its

controversial nuclear program. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd arrived at the Australian War Memorial to honour those who have served the nation in conflicts since 1945, the new galleries focusing on the past and present - our personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan not forgotten. It is impossible to leave this place and not be moved by it. It's the Government's troop draw-down policy in Iraq which has led to praise for the PM from an unlikely quarter - Iran, the Islamic state's ambassador to Australia offering Kevin Rudd an opportunity for fresh dialogue. TRANSLATOR: We are hoping adopts a better policy, and we are hopeful to have a better relation Iran is seeking support for its nuclear program, is for peaceful purposes, which it says but the Iranians remain suspicious of Australia's links to the US. TRANSLATOR: We know the United States of America a very poisonous atmosphere. Murray McCloskey, Ten News.

New research suggests

antidepressants could be a waste of

time. A British study has found

they work no better than a dummy

pill for mildly depressed patients

and for most people suffering

severe depression, researchers examined four commonly examined four commonly used

antidepressants and they included

Prozac. More research and it shows

dying from a Hart attack is less

likely than 10 years a-- heart

attack is less likely than 10 years

ago. There's been a 30% reduction

of heart attacks in males. The rate

of lung cancer among women has

increased among 1982. A terror

master mind has been found guilty

of operating extremist of operating extremist training

camps in Britain. Hamid has been

recruiting and training young

Muslims to be part of his holy war.

He intended to produce terrorists

who could operate in England and abroad. Four of his pupils were

part of the failed London part of the failed London terror

attacks in 2005. The Diana inquest

has been told the British Seekt

Service was not tracking -- Secret Service was not tracking the

Princess or Dodi Al Fayed. It

looks like cricket's hostile summer will flare up again pretty soon.

Matthew Hayden has called Matthew Hayden has called Harbhajan

Singh an abnoxious little weed on

Brisbane radio. After taking out

the Test Player of the Year award,

Brett Lee has edged out Hayden to

win the Allan Border Medal. Mum and

Dad asked me what I wanted to be

when I was 9, and my aim was to be

the world's fastest bowler. Ashley

Noffke took out the State honours.

The AFL has been forced to defend The AFL has been forced to defend

its regional challenge series after

a spate of season-ending knee

injuries. It's confident its

outlying venues are up to AFL standard. They might have taken the game back to the bush, but the AFL's regional challenge series the state of the playing surfaces. Already this season, five players have required knee reconstructions. We are 100% satisfied that where we stage these games, it is an intensive process we follow

to make sure the grounds are at AFL standard. At the launch for the AFL's new official timekeeper tonight, Swans star Adam Goodes revealed the stunning recovery of Nick Malceski, after revolutionary new surgery on his wrecked knee. He was walking around the football club without crutches today, so I think... the operation that he had is a bit out there, and I think it gives him an opportunity to get back training a lot quicker than what he would if he'd had the full reco. New Blues skipper Chris Judd I guess if we were to win 8 to 10 games

that would be a pretty solid result for us, coming off where we did last year. Roger Oldridge, Ten News.

All eyes will be on ABC Learning

Centres today after yesterday's

disastrous ride. Its shares

plummeting by 70% at one point,

following a massive drop in profit.

Craig James, what's in store for

ABC today? I think what we need to

see is a bit more guidance from the

company, particularly in terms of

analysts. They want a bit more

clarity Iran terms of the current

earnings and debt situation. ABC

has to answer a query from the ASX

about the nature of the recent share

share price decline. What other

stocks to watch out for today? A number of other companies icing

profit results. Seven Network is

amongst those. The oil price has

surged again above $ 100 US. Bad

news for a high energy user search

as Qantas. The Aussie which's

cracked the 93 US cent mark this --

dollar's cracked the 93 cent US

mark? The Aussie dollar can mark? The Aussie dollar can do no

wrong at the moment, commodity

prices rising and an expectation of an interest rate hike next week. We

believe the Aussie dollar could

rise as high as 96 US cents next June.

Just briefly, flight centre has

lifted its interim profit results

by 18.8%. First half net earnings

up on the last interim results.

Flight Centre has reassured

investors its new American business

should not be affected by the US economy downturn.

Here's the national weather outlook for Thursday:

Looking at the newspaper headlines. In the 'Courier Mail', there are

renewed calls for a new port

facility in Brisbane. Retail giant

Woolworths will pump $2 billion in to

to fighting off competition to fighting off competition from

rival Coles. And in the family of

vrbs 8 driver of Ashley Cooper has

saved seven lives by donating his

organs. A possible breakthrough in

the battle of the bulge, the

details when the early news returns. Good morning, i'm Lachlan Kennedy A local hostel operator's calling for better efforts to sell Canberra to international tourists. The Youth Hostel Association says more long

term and targetted marketing is needed to attract backpackers to the capital, and its various

institutions. The Y-H-A wants the A-C-T Government to re-instate some of it's recent cuts to tourism spending, to help fix the problem The A-C-T Opposition's been accused of acting too late to address school violence. Leader Zed Seselja yesterday announced plans for a community forum to try and address recent school violence, such as last week's dramas at Calwell High.

But the A-C-T Government says it formed a similar committee last year, and is already enacting plans to combat student violence A new gallery will be unveiled to the public at the Australian War memorial today. The Conflicts 1945 to today gallery, will honour the efforts of service men and women from less celebrated wars, including Korea and Vietnam. TO SPORT, Todd Carney has been named in the Canberra Raiders 21 man squad, for Saturday's trial match against the Cowboys in Townsville. Carney has overcome a leg injury suffered in training last month, and will start from the bench. Marc Herbert will start at halfback ahead of Michael Dobson, while centre Phil Graham has been rested with a back complaint NOW TO THE WEATHER A trough over the east of New South Wales is meeting an upper level jet stream, bringing showers and possible thunderstorms Around the nation... a possible storm for Canberra... a late shower or two for Sydney ... and wet weather on the way for Melbourne

Looking now to our soggy and stormy region ... possible storms for Dubbo, Orange, Wollongong and Bega.... cloudy in Wagga Showers and maybe a storm for Bathurst ... wet and 24 in Batemans Bay ...showers for Goulburn Showers for Mudgee ... possible storms for Cooma, Thredbo and Parkes Looking ahead: Possible showers today will mostly likely continue into showers tomorrow... which will continue across the weekend, with temps in the

This is Ten's Early News. Record

rain and hail pommels Sydney. Caught in the net, 20 Caught in the net, 20 Australian

homes raided ipan international tax

fraud bust. -- in an international

tax fraud bust. Beijing opens the

doors to its major new airport. In

sport, Anthony Mundine defends Ben

Cousins's withdrawal from tonight's

world title fight undercard. Let's

have a look at finance. Thank have a look at finance. Thank you.

Well, a sharper than expected drop

in consumer confidence has been in consumer confidence has been

overlooked by investors after IBM

announced it will buy back $15 billion in shares.

Coming up - a tough lesson for ABC

Learning Centres after a $750

million sell-off yesterday. Sydney residents are cleaning up this morning

morning after the city was morning after the city was hit a

severe storm. Some areas received a month's

month's rain in just 30 minutes.

The downpour was so intense the

Weather Bureau's called it a 1 in

20-year event. This underground

motorcycle workshop under water.

10, 15 minutes you could have

surfed down here. More storms are expected over the expected over the coming week. A

similar story north of Sydney, rain

continuing to fall in North

Queensland but the thriving tourism industry,

industry, it's all but dried up.

Holidays booked months ago have now

been cancelled and that's forced the

the State Government to take urgent

action. It's a painful irony,

soaking rain bringing much-needed

relief to the State's farmers. But

also washing away millions of tourism dollars. Woofrpblgts tourism dollars. Woofrpblgts have a

lot of small operators that rely on

year round business. Popular

beaches are isolated and hotels are

suffering after a wave of

cancellations. Having

cancellations due to people

perceiving there's too much rain perceiving there's too much rain to

get through can be detrimental to

their business. Rockhampton is

still suffering. While the still suffering. While the streets

of Mackay are littered with cadged possessions. Even a preseason NRL

match was forced to relocate. But

now the State Government has

stepped in, announcing a $150,000

package to entice valuable tourists

back. The estimated financial back. The estimated financial cost

to the industry is $4.5 million so

far. The bureau says more rain is on the ray way.

on the ray way. -- way. NSW

on the ray way. -- way. NSW Premier

Morris Iemma is under increasing

pressure to abandon this power sale

plan. 15 Labor MPs joined thousands

outside Parliament House. My view

is we're going to send a big

message to the Premier, and to

those Labor

those Labor MPs inside here that

the electricity industry belongs to

the people of NSW and it's not for

sale. Unions warn there will be

even bigger protests ahead if the

Premier doesn't change his mind.

The PM says the national defence

budget will continue to grow with

certainty and predictability. In a

speech at the Australian War Memorial, Kevin Rudd moved Memorial, Kevin Rudd moved to allay

fears about the Government's razor

gang. While we must cut our cloth,

we must ensure those charged with

the planning of our future defence

can do so with absolute certainty.

Mr Rudd was opening new galleries

dedicated to Australians who served

in conflicts after 1945. Victoria's

teachers are vowing to continue their fight for

their fight for better pay. More

than 1,000 work walked off the job

yesterday, causing mass disruptions.

Hundreds of fed-up teachers rallied

outside Premier John Brumby's elebteral office. Pushing -- electoral office.

Pushing a 10% pay claim, they say Pushing a 10% pay claim, they say

the Government's counter offer is

pathetic. 3.25% is a joke. The pathetic. 3.25% is a joke. The

Premier refusing requests for a

face to face showdown. People face to face showdown. People

expect you to be there and it's not

practical or realistic. More than

150 schools were forced to close

with thousands of students and

their parents affected. Had to take

a whole day off work so I could a whole day off work so I could be

home to look after both by children.

The only way they can get their voices across but it's a pain voices across but it's a pain for parents. It's just the beginning.

The union threatening more rolling

stoppages in March and April. The

Tax Office has raided the homes of

20 Australians believed to be

hoarding millions of dollars in a European tax

European tax haven. The ATO says

the cash is being hidden in secret

bank accounts in Liechtenstein. 100 Americans are under investigation.

The ATO is offering reduced

penalties for those who voluntarily

disclose their offshore accounts. A

possible breakthrough this morning

in the battle of the bulge.

Australian scientists say the hormone leptin, which hormone leptin, which suppresses hunger, may be a more powerful

weight loss tool than first thought.

Leptin helps regulate Leptin helps regulate appetite but Melbourne researchers have now

discovered it plays a larger role

in burning energy than previously

thought, giving it huge potential

in the fight against obese it's. A

man dubbed Osama bin London has

been found guilty in Britain of

organising extremist training camps. Among organising extremist training camps. Among his pupils were men later

arrested over the 2005 London

bombings. Terror training not in

the Pakistan mountains but in the

English countryside. These men are

only pointing sticks but the

prosecution successfully argued

that this camp in the New Forest

and others in Britain, were being used

used to turn out Islamic terrorists.

The court was told some of those who who attempted to bomb London's

underground passed through these

camps. Hamid allowed cameras to

film paint ball sessions he

organised. But this too was a front,

the court was told. In reality it

was all part of a scheme to recruit

and train young Islamic terrorists.

Their conversations were being bugged:

Today, Hamid and his fellow ring

leader were found guilty of

soliciting murder. Three of their

pupils were also convicted pupils were also convicted of

attending the camps. London's attending the camps. London's

Heathrow has lost its title as the

world's biggest airport. Today world's biggest airport. Today the new Beijing airport has been

unveiled ahead of the Olympic Games.

It was built in just four years and

it covers the size of 230 it covers the size of 230 football

pitches. It opens for business on

Friday and will have an estimated

90 million passengers passing

through the terminal every through the terminal every year.

The New York Philharmonic has performed

performed an historic concert in

North Korea. It shows no signs of

the 60-year tension between the 60-year tension between these

countries. They performed North

Korea's national song and the US national anthem.

And you guessed it, the concert was

planned to improve relations

between the two nations.

between the two nations. Brett Lee

has confirmed his place among

Australian cricket's greats. He's

taken out the 2008 Allan Border

Medal and narrowly beat Matthew

Hayden. He shouldered an

inexperienced attack in the wake of

Shane Warne and Glenn Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath's

retirement, now Brett Lee has some

more weight to carry but it's in

the form of of a the form of of a compact little

medal. The winner is Brett Lee. His

transition from young tear away to

Australia's number one cricketer

now complete. I look back when I

was nine years of age and Mum and

Dad asked me what I wanted to be?

And that was to be the world's

fastest bowler and a player for Australia.

Australia. Matthew Hayden's stellar

World Cup seen him crowned as the

one-day player of the year. It's

humbling to stand here and receive

an award like this but knowing the

fact you've got such magnificent

players behind you every day of the

week is something we really savour.

The Central Coast Mariners have

asked the FFA to speed up asked the FFA to speed up the appeal

appeal against Danny Vukovic. The

22-year-old was outed for 15 months

for striking the referee during the

A-League grand final. He's been stood down from Sunday's Olympic

lead-up game against Mexico in

California. Even if you take him

away with that type of ban hanging

over his ed, it wouldn't have been

any good to us. The Mariners say it

is excessive. Mundine has defended

Cousins's decision to pull out from

the undercard of his world title defence against Nader Hamden

tonight. Cousins was set for an exbition bout with rugby league

player Sonny Bill Williams but

Mundine says the former AFL player

has done enough to promote the

anti-drugs message behind his fight.

I think he's been such a great role model for the cause because he's model for the cause because he's

been a victim of it and he's trying

to struggle his way through it.

Mundine does expect Cousins will be

ringside for the fight. To finance

now with Kath. ABC Learning the

latest victim of the market shake

out? More than $750 million wiped

off the value of ABC Learning

Centres ara disasts day Centres ara disasts day in trade --

after a disastrous day in trade

yesterday. It followed the release

of a 42% drop in profits and

revellations of around $1.4 billion

in debt. Eddy Groves has blamed short selling by international

hedge funds for the market route.

Woolworths shares have surged back

over the $30 mark. Net profit rose to

to almost $900 million and remains on

on course to lift between 19% and

23% this year. In a bid to stave

off Coles, Michael Luscombe

announced a $2 billion capital and

operational spend. The retail giant

will launch a new branded credit card with investment bank HSBC.

Hutchison Telecommunications has narrowed its losses

narrowed its losses to $285 billion.

An ipprovement of 62.5% -- an

improvement of 62.5%. Intense

competition in the mobile market is

hurting the bottom line. The boss

says he's confident of finishing

2008 earnings positive for the first time.

Bill, just one other note, Centro

will delay the release of its

results. They were due out tomorrow

but will now report on but will now report on Friday. Let's check the weather around Let's check the weather around Australia..

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

Bill Woods. I'm Kathryn Robinson.

Have a good morning. Goodbye.

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