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Ten Early News -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

Good morning. I'm Bill Woods. And I'm Kathryn Robinson. Welcome to Ten's Early News. Today:

An Australian soldier remains in a critical condition while eight

others are wounded in an ambush with the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

John McCain touches down in Minnesota for the Republican National Convention, welcomed by

his running mate, Sarah Palin.

Princess Mary steps out in Sydney

overnight with husband, Crown

Prince Frederick for a cause that

is close to her heart.

In finance - the economy growing at

its slowest rate in two years

sparking fresh talk of rate cuts. A soldier is still fighting for

life this morning after a Taliban

ambush against Australian troops in Afghanistan. Nine Australians were

wounded in the attack. One of the

incidents since Vietnam. country's worst battlefield

The special operations task group

soldiers were targeted by Taliban

as they returned from a mission.

There was an exchange of fire. We

were, we were ambushed. One digger

is in a critical condition. Five

escaped with minor injuries. escaped are listed as serious. Three

The worst of the wounded are

expected to be flown to a US

military hospital in Germany.

It's Australia's largest number of It's Australia's largest number of

casualties in a single attack since

the Vietnam War. Clearly, the

Taliban fighting in their heartland

areas , some of the operations

which we are conducting are in

areas which coalition soldiers have

not been in before. They are

engaged in a vital mission. The

Taliban can never again be allowed

to use Afghanistan as a training to use Afghanistan as a training

terrorist operations. ground or launching pad for

The Taliban extremists were using

AK-47s. rocket-propelled grenades and

We're getting towards the end of the

campaign season, as they call it,

and, you know, we're up against a and, you know, we're up against a

very adversary. Police

are investigating the shooting

death of a 15-year-old boy on the

NSW mid-north coast. Joshua Astill

was found with a gunshot wound to

the head in a house at west haven,

south of Port Macquarie, at midday yesterday. A youth has been

questioned by police overnight but

was released without charge.

deliberate. It's unclear if the shooting was

NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, will

announce a long-awaited Cabinet

reshuffle approximate this week

after the shot resignation of

deputy John Watkins. Mr Watt since

says politics was taking a high

toll on his family. He'll take up a

CEO role with Alzheimer's Australia.

Meantime, Kevin Rudd has warned

Federal Labor MP Belinda Neal to Federal Labor MP Belinda Neal to

maintain good behaviour of risk

being stripped of pre-selection. Ms

Neal and her husband, John Della Bosca were yesterday cleared of Bosca were yesterday cleared of allegations they threatened staff

at Iguana's Nightclub. The

bill on luxury car tax nearly

failed last night after Steve

Fielding sided with the Coalition

to reject the legislation. The

Government was given a short

reprieve after Liberals Senator Sue

Boyce didn't turn up for the vote.

morning. The Senate will vote again this

Two men have been charged over a

stabbing murder in Brisbane. The

33-year-old victim was attacked at

a house in Eagleby and was rushed

to hospital, but died a short time

today. later. Both men will face court later. Both men will face court

John McCain's running mate, Sarah

the Republican National Convention Palin, will take centre stage at

in a few hours. She is set to

deliver the speech of her political

career as she tries to steer attention

attention back on to politics after

a week of revelations about her

personal life. For more, Ten ace US bureau chief Nicole Strahan joins

us live from Minnesota. Nicole, why

is tonight so important for Sarah

Palin? Good morning, Bill, the

Governor of Alaska was announced

as the Vice-Presidential running

mate five days ago and there's no doubt

doubt she was a shock choice. Since

then there are been concerned that

the vetting process was not adequate

enough and revelations her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. 17-year-old daughter is pregna 17-year-old daughter is pregnant.

Tonight, Sarah Palin will attempt

to take back the headlines and

voters, introduce herself to American

voters, in particular the swing

voters. She'll lay out her plans

for the United States and she has

to prove that she is ready to be

Vice-President , just a heartbeat

from the Oval Office. A bit of

pressure after the fanfare of the

Democratic Convention. Presidential

nominee John McCain has arrived in

St pall. When will he take to the

stage? That's right, Bill. There is

certainly pressure on the certainly pressure on the

Republicans to whip up some

enthusiasm among their base. He has

just arrived here in St Vincent de Paul

just a couple of hours ago -- St

Paul a couple of hours ago. He was

greeted by Sarah Palin and her family, including her 17-year-old

daughter, Bristol, who is pregnant.

They were greeted warmly. No doubt

he probably congratulated them and

offered them some advice, possibly,

about dealing with the media

spotlight they've found themselves

in. It will certainly be John

McCain's tomorrow night to take the

spotlight when he officially accepts the nomination for president of the Republican Party. Thank you, Nicole. Emergency

Emergency warnings have been issued

in The Bahamas as Tropical Storm

Hanna approaches. The storm has

already flooded parts of Haiti,

killing at least 25 people.

Authorities Seyhan ya could reach hurricane strength as it moves

towards the south-east coast of the

US. New Orleans residents who fled US. New Orleans residents who fled

Hurricane Gustav earlier this week

are now returning to their homes,

despite a warning that the cit despite a warning that the city is still vulnerable. despite a warning that the city is

Princess Mary has stepped out in

to Sydney overnight for a cause close

to her heart. The royal was joined

Bishop Australia's richest families

to celebrate the opening of a

world-first cardiac research centre.

Princess Mary knows the effects of

heart disease all too well. She

lost her mother, Henrietta, in 1997.

Clearly, much remains to be do Clearly, much remains to be done,

as heart disease remains the

leading cause of death and

disability in our communities.

The Danish royal attended a dinner

last night to thank those involved

with the opening ofal new cardiac

research building in Sydney.

We're very lucky, so, um, her

assistance is greatly apprecia assistance is greatly appreciated.

The new centre will house 240 of

the world's top researchers. It was the world's top researchers. It was

made possible through donations,

including $2 million each from the

Packer and Lowy families. We

decided it was a very good cause decided it was a very good cause

and the Packers and the Lowys

talked to each other and said, "Why

not? It's a good thing to do."

We're very proud that we have done it.

The Melbourne Storm has celebrated The Melbourne Storm has celebrated

the career of Matt Geyer. Players

past and present plus a few family

members turned out for the only

foundation player still plying his

trade with the Storm.

Yeah, it's been a great night. It

was funny, when we walked in, I

kept bumping into people I knew and

it was a touch of reality. it was a touch of reality.

Obviously I know everyone here

because they've meant something to

my life and career. Geyer made his

debut for the Storm back in 1998.

It was against the wush Magpies at

Campbelltown.

Fremantle teenager Rhys Palmer has

taken out the AFL's Rising Star award.

Rhys Palmer played in all but two

matches in his debut season

averaging 23 possessions. The 19-year-old joining elite company

as the league's top young gun. It's

a huge honour to win this award,

especially when you see all the especially when you see all th

players who have won it and to be

put in the same sentence as them is

a real honour. Cyril Rioli was second. Meanwhile, Collingwood

captain Scott Burns barely raised

a sweat at the main training

session ahead of Saturday's

elimination final against Adelaide.

The club still insists he's a

chance to play. Still being midweek

he's probably got to tick a few

more boxes but I think he's edging

closer towards putting his hand up

to play, which is great. Crows forward important important

important is also in doubt with a

shoulder that keeps popping out. An

injury scare for the Saints before

their battle with Geelong, skipper

Nick Riewoldt leaving the track

early but the club says he's a

certainty for Sunday.

Vince Grella is looking forward to

better things with the Socceroos

following an inauspicious tart to his career in the English Premier

League. He joined team-mates in

Holland after making his debut for

Blackburn Rovers at the weekend.

They lost 4-1 to West Ham and he

was yellow-carded after seven minutes. Australia plays the

Netherlands in a warm-up match on

Saturday. I don't think we could

have picked a much better friendly

game to lead into the World Cup

qualifier. The next stage of World

Cup qualification starts in

Uzbekistan, that's next Wednesday. Finance news now.

Kath, weaker than expected GDP

figures. That's right, Bill. The

economy grew by 0.3% for the June quarter,

quarter, strengthening the case for further interest rate cuts this

year. It was the weakest quarterly

growth in more than three years

with annual GDP easing to 2.7%.

Household spending fell 0.1% as families

families felt the pain of higher

interest rates and petrol prices.

The Federal Government says although the economy is slowing,

it's still growing and doing much better

better than the economies of other developed nations. The

The Government acknowledges that

we're not out of the woods yet, Mr

Speaker, but these figures are very solid.

Soaring commodity pricings and

strong business investment helped

offset weak household spending.

There's been a setback for BHP

Billiton in its takeover bid for

rival Rio Tinto. The European

Commission has suspended its review of

of BHP's proposed $190 billion

takeover offer as it seeks more

information from the mining giant.

The Commission was set to hand down

its decision on December 9. That

could be delayed until early next year.

Briefly in other business news,

Babcock and Brown has promoted

John Fanning to CFO. AWB has

share-holder support to end the

dual class share structure. The

Federal Government announced a

November 26 deadline forbids for

the multibillion-dollar national

broadband network and new car sales

took a dive in August, falling 12.3%.

To the market numbers now and Wall

Street has edged slightly higher

at the close.

Here's how we're shaping up around the nation for Thursday:

This morning, the 'Herald Sun' has

more on the ambush in Afghanistan.

The 'Financial Review' reports the

Federal Government is introducing

major changes to televised sport

to encourage people to take up

dimming tal TV.

The 'Sydney Morning Herald' reports

a Catholic brother linked to a

widening sex abuse scandal in NSW

was also a World Youth Day chaperone. An abducted Australian photographer closer

closer to being freed. We'll have

the details when the Early News returns.

This is Ten's Early News. Making headlines:

John McCain's embattled running mate

Sarah Palin, to accept her

nomination at the National

Convention as she prepares to make

the speech of her life.

An Australian soldier is in a

critical condition and eight others

are wounded in an ambush in Afghanistan.

The Senate set to block an increase to the luxury car tax.

In sport, spitting chips - the New

Zealand Warriors consider their

options after Wade McKinnon was

banned at the NRL judiciary.

In finance, the economy

growing at the slowest rate in almost two years.

Sarah Palin is preparing to deliver

the speech of her life. She will

take to the stage at the Republican

National Convention in Minnesota in

a bid to silence her critics. Sarah Palin is preparing for her Sarah Palin is preparing for her big night. Last week, John McCain surprised

everyone when he chose her to be

his number two. The 44-year-old

mother of five hasn't said much mother of five hasn't said much

since her introductory rally.

Instead, revelations about her

teenage daughter's pregnancy and a state ethics investigation have state ethics investigation have

dominated the headlines. All this

Kochie will make Americans tune in

to see how she handles this. This

there is no question that Palin,

who is staunchly anti-abortion and pro-gun,

pro-gun, as energised the convention

convention and delegates from home convention and delegates from her

home state are confident she will

win over the rest of the country. I

work for her in the Administration.

She's so focused. She'll set out to

do something and get it done. With

two years in the governor's office

and a prior stint as a small town

mayor, Democrats are raising

questions about her experience and questions about her experience and

John McCain's vet prog sess.

An Australian special forces An Australian special forces

soldier is fighting for life after

an ambush by the Taliban in

southern Afghanistan. Another eight

soldiers were wounded. They'd been

returning from a mission in Oruzgan

province when they were attacked by

gunfire and rocket-propelled

grenades. There was an exchange of

fire. We were, we were ambushed.

Several Taliban extremists were

killed. It's Australia's highest

casualty rate in a single engagement since Vietnam.

Kevin Rudd has warned Federal Labor

MP Belinda Neal to be on her best

behaviour or face being stripped of pre-selection. pre-selection. Yesterday, Ms Neal

was cleared over allegations that

she had bullied workers at Iguanas

nightclub and forced her own staff

to modify statutory declarations.

I did nothing wrong. I did not

swear. Dinot threaten anyone's job.

Meantime, NSW Premier Morris Iemma

will announce a major Cabinet

reshuffle this week following the

Watkins. shock resignation of deputy, John

A showdown is looming in the Senate

over the luxury car tax increase.

Last night, the Coalition botched a

chance to block the car tax after a

Liberal Senator went AWOL.

At a dinner in Canberra

celebrating the Howard government,

the former prime minister couldn't

resist a swipe over the economy.

I'll allow myself one comment - it

former government. was doing a lot better under the

Labor tried to spoil the party.

They'll line up to suck up to the

former prime minister.

The Government's ridicule continued

after the Opposition failed to

block the luxury car tax increase

because a Liberal Senator missed

the vote. The incompetence of the Opposition who can't even organise

a raid on the Budget. I'm sincerely sorry to the Senate for the

inKoreans I've caused. The

Coalition failed in its argument

for an immediate revote. Family

First Senator Steve Fielding voted with the Coalition which should have

have been enough to kill the bill

and wife $0.5 billion from the

Budget surplus. This puts up the

price of cars for tourism and also farmers.

Victoria Police have charged a man

with the murder of his estranged

wife who went missing more than 20

years ago. John Vincent McDonald years ago. John Vincent McDonald

was arrested yesterday morning and

charged with one count of murder. Mother

Mother of five Marlene McDonald was

last seen at her Reservoir home in

1986. Her body has never been found.

Mr McDonald will face court again today.

An Australian photo journalist and

two colleagues kidnapped at

gunpoint in Somalia may soon be

free. 35-year-old Nigel Brennan, free. 35-year-old Nigel Brennan,

Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout, Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout,

and their translator, were

abducted outside the capital mish

reports yu last month. A Canadian newspaper

reports contact has been made with reports contact has been made with

the kidnappers and negotiations for

are reportedly uninjured. their release have begun. All three

There's been an assassination

attempt on the Prime Minister of

Pakistan. Two shots have been fired

at Yousuf Gilani's car three days

before the country's presidential

election. Officials say Gilani was

not in the car at the time.

Princess Mary and Crown Prince

Frederick of Denmark have stepped

out in Sydney overnight to

celebrate the opening of a heart disease research centre.

The Royals were joined by some of

Australia's richest families to

honour those who helped build the

$80 million Victor Chang Building.

It was a very good cause and, um,

the Packers and the Lowys talked to

each other and said, "Why not? It's

a good thing to do," and we are

very proud that we have done it.

Princess Mary is a an honorary life

governor of Victor Chang Institute

disease. after losing her mother to heart

New Zealand Warriors fullback Wade

McKinnon has been handed a 3-match

suspension for spitting at a match official. The Warriors fullback suspension for spitting at a match

pleaded not guilty but the panel disagreed and even though the

3-game ban was considerably less

than the 11 games the NRL lawyers

had been pushing for, the Warriors

seemed likely to lodge an appeal

this morning. In a much quicker hearing, Newcastle's Matt Hilder hearing, Newcastle's Matt Hilder

was cleared of spitting at the

Storm's Anthony Quinn.

In AFL, Fremantle's Rhys Palmer has

ended the Dockers' dismal year on a

better note. The 19-year-old was better note. The 19-year-old was

rewarded for an outstanding debut

season with the AFL Rising Star

award. It's a huge honour to win

this award, especially when you see

the players that have won it and to

be put in the same sentence as them

is a real honour. In other AFL news,

Collingwood is confident captain

Scott Burns will be fit to return

against Adelaide. for Saturday's elimination final

Racehorse of the year, Weekend

Hustler will have it make history to win the Caulfield Melbourne Cup

double. He's been handicapped

55.5kg for both races. Only

champion gallopers Mahogany and

Octagonal have carried more weight after their three-year-old season.

It's my opinion that... Irish

champion Yeats is again top weight

with 59kg. Last year's winner,

Efficient, has been given 58.

arrived. The V supercar endurance season has

There was a 500km race at Phillip

Island on Sunday. For the first

time in the season, drivers will be

paired with a team-mate.

There's that shared emotion and

bond that you have to build and

it's exciting because you're doing

it for someone else as well as the

exciting times. team and yourself so, um, it's

Opening practice is tomorrow at the

warm-up event. island for the traditional Bathurst

Growth figures out yesterday showed

the Australian economy is growing

but more slowly than expected. GDP

rose just 0.3% in the June quarter.

For more, CommSec's Elvina Simpson

joins us live and, Elvina, household spending fell for the

first time in 15 years. It did

indeed, Kath. Although households

are cutting back werks saw

businesses spending and incomes

boost over the June quarter. That

was thanks to the mining boom. The

result, though, was weaker than

expected. The annual rate came in

at 2.7%, which is lower than the

average of 3.5%. This is, of course,

good news in terms of prospects of

another rate cut in coming months.

Now, Elvina, what can we expect

from our local market today. The

futures index is pointing at a

slight loss of 11 points or one

pivot of a per cent. London's FTSE

lost around 2% overnight. The US

stocks did close - the Dow Jones

gained around 15 points and the

NASDAQ lost two-thirds of a per

cent. Base metal prices have

strengthened in London overnight so

we may see mining stocks recover

some recent losses. Thanks for the update. Thank you.

And briefly now in other business

news, Coca-Cola is offering to buy

a Chinese juice maker for nearly $2.5 billion.

Investment bank Citigroup has

warned NAB and ANZ are the two big

banks most likely to announce

further writedowns to credit

exposures. Juerbl is expanding into

tsh - Virgin Blue is expanding into

Papua New Guinea and the Bureau of

Statistics will today release

international goods and services

trade data for July.

Checking the forecast for today: New Orleans residents finally

the allowed to go home. Details when

the Early News returns. Recently moved to Canberra? VOICEOVER: Then you could win one of four accounts $5,000 Service One Members Banking your Medicare address. simply by updating uses population numbers The Australian Government each community receives. to decide how much funding the population is counted. And Medicare addresses are one way So update your address today on 132011. by calling Medicare Australia Service One Members Banking branch Then enter the draw at a or at somb.com.au

and you could win $5,000 and help your community.

This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News.

Today - an Australian soldier in a

critical condition and eight others

wounded after an ambush by the

The Oruzgan province. Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

John McCain touches down in John McCain touches down in Minnesota for the Republican

National Convention, welcomed by

his running mate, Sarah Palin, and

her family.

Princess Mary stepping out in

Sydney overnight with husband Crown

Prince Fredrik for a cause that is

close to her heart.

And in finance, the economy growing

at its slowest rate in almost two

years, sparking fresh talks of more

rate cuts.

A soldier is still fighting for

life this morning after a Taliban

ambush against Australian troops in

Afghanistan. Nine Australians were

wounded in the attack, one of the country's worst battlefield incidents since Vietnam.

The special operations task group

soldiers were targeted by Taliban as

as they returned from a mission.

There was an exchange of fire. We were ambushed.

One digger is in a critical

condition. Five are listed as

serious. Three escaped with minor injuries. The worst of the wounded

are expected to be flown to a US

military hospital in Germany. It's

Australia's largest number of

casualties in a single attack since the Vietnam War.

Clearly, the Taliban fighting in their

their heartland areas, um, some of

the operations which ISAF are the operations which ISAF are

conducting are in areas in which coalition soldiers have not been

before. They are engaged in a

vital mission. The Taliban can

never again be allowed to use

Afghanistan as a launching pad for terrorist operations.

The Taliban extremists were using

rocket-propelled grenades and

AK-47s. We're getting towards the

end of the campaign season as they end of the campaign season as they

call it and, um, you know, we're up call it and, um, you know, we're up

against a very determined against a very determined adversary. Police are investigating the

shooting death of a 15-year-old boy

on the NSW mid-north coast. He was

found with a gunshot wound to the

head in a house at West Haven, just

south of Port Macquarie at midday

yesterday. A firearm was found at

the scene. A youth has been

questioned by police overnight but

was released without charge. It's

unclear if the shooting was deliberate.

Two men have been charged over a

stabbing murder in Brisbane. The

33-year-old victim was attacked at a

a house in Eagleby and was rushed

to hospital but died a short time

later. Both men will face court today.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma will

announced a long-awaited Cabinet

reshuffle this week after the shock

resignation of deputy, John Watkins.

Mr Watkins says politics was

taking a high toll on his family.

He'll now take up a CEO role with

Alzheimer's Australia. Meantime,

Kevin Rudd has warned Federal Labor

MP Belinda Neal to maintain good

behaviour or risk going stripped of --

-- being stripped of pre-selection.

Ms Neal and her husband John Della

Bosca were yesterday cleared of

allegations they threatened staff

at Iguanas nightclub.

American voters will soon hear

from Sarah Palin. She'll make the

speech of her life at the

Republican Convention later today. She

She pent the day inspecting the

stage where she will address the

party faithful and accept her Vice-Presidential nomination. One, two, three, four. Palin

Palin has been in the spotlight

after it was revealed her

17-year-old daughter is pregnant 17-year-old daughter is pregna 17-year-old daughter is pregnant

and she once belonged to a

political party that wants Alaska

to be an independent country.

New Orleans residents have finally

been allowed home after they were

forced to flee Hurricane Gustav

but the mayor is warning the city

is still vulnerable and many

services haven't been restored.

New Orleans is coming back to life.

Residents who evacuated before

Hurricane Gustav are free to return

and they're arriving by the nous a day

day ahead of schedule. We are so

glad to be home. For Lesley baker,

home never looked so good. She fled home never looked so good. She fled

to Arkansas with her family and by

the time the evacuation order was

lifted, she had found a way to

sneak around the checkpoint. It

takes the stress off me. Being away

from home, this is my kfrlt zone ,

this is my comfort zone. She

returned to a different city than the

the one she left. Low-lying areas

are flooded and most electricity is

out. Roads are blocked by trees and

power lines and fuel is running low,

which is why the mayor wanted a

more controlled re-entry and he's

leaving curfews in place. But as

New Orleans starts to exhail, Hanna

is drenching Haiti and could swipe

the East coast in the coming days

and Ike might be headed for the

Gulf by next week.

Princess Mary has stepped out in

Sydney overnight for a cause close

to her heart. The royal was joined by

by Australia's richest families to

celebrate the opening of a

world-first cardiac research centre. It

was a room already brimming with

money and power. Add a dash of

royalty and this was a party that

had it all. The occasion - to thank

those who helped build the $80 million

million Victor Chang Lowy Packer

Building which now houses one of

the world's top cardiac research centres.

centres. It was a very good cause

and the Packer ast the Lowys talked

to each other and said, "Why not?

It's a good thing to do and we're

very proud that we've done it." Her

Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary is an honorary governor of Victor is an honorary governor of Vic is an honorary governor of Victor

Rhang Institute, her passion driven

in part by the loss of her mother

in 1997. One of Victor Chang's most

famous patients, Fiona Coote, among

those welcoming Princess Mary. Her

assistance is appreciated. James

Packer leaving his new baby at home

as they chatted with the Princess

and her Prince who was making his

first appearance in Sydney on this

trip. Are you enjoying your trip? Certainly, yes. Certainly.

Melbourne Storm has celebrated the

career of Matt Geyer. Players past

and present and a few family

members turned out for the only

foundation player still plying his

trade with the Storm.

It's been a great night. It was

funny, when we walked in, I kept

bumping in to people I knew and it

was a touch of reality. Obviously everyone here has meant something everyone here has meant something

to my life and my career. Geyer

made his debut for the Storm back

in 1998 against the Western Suburbs Magpies at Campbelltown.

Fremantle teenager Rhys Palmer has

ended the Dockers dismal season on

a bright note, taking out the

AFL's ricing star award. two matches in his debut season, Rhys Palmer played in all but

averaging 23 possessions. as the league's top young gun. The 19-year-old joining elite company to win this award, It's a huge honour especially when you look back that have won it. and see all of the great players as them, yeah, it's a real honour. To be put in the same sentence

ahead of Richmond's Trent Cotchin. Hawk Cyril Rioli was second, barely raised a sweat Collingwood captain Scott Burns at the Pies' main training session against Adelaide. ahead of Saturday's elimination final But the club still insists he's a chance to play.

I guess, it still being mid-week, he's probably got to tick a few more boxes towards putting his hand up to play but I think he's edging closer which is great. is also in doubt Crows forward Jason Porplyzia that keeps popping out. with a shoulder for the Saints as well An injury scare before their battle with Geelong, leaving the track early, skipper Nick Riewoldt he's a certainty for Sunday. but the club says Nathan Templeton, Ten News.

Vince Grella is looking forward to

better things with the Socceroos

following an inauspicious start to

his career in the English Premier

League. Grella joined team-mates in

Holland after debuting for

Blackburn Rovers at the weekend.

They lost 4-1 to West Ham and Vince They lost 4-1 to West Ham and Vince was yellow-carded after seven

minutes. Australia plays the

Netherlands in a warm-up match on

Saturday. I don't think we could

have picked a much better friendly

game to lead in to the World Cup

qualifier. The next stage of World

Cup qualifications starts in Uzbekistan. That's next Wednesday.

Well, the Australian economy is growing, but more slowly than expected.

GDP rose just 0.3% in the June

quarter. For more, CommSec's Elvina

Simpson joins us live and, Elvina,, household

household spending fell for the

first time in 15 years. It

certainly did, Kath. Although households cut back on their

spending, we saw business incomes

and spending boosted by the mining

boom. However, the annual result

did come in at 2.7%, with I weaker

than the average of 3.5%. This is than the average of 3.5%. This than the average of 3.5%. This is

of course good news when it comes

to the prospects of another

interest rate cut in coming months.

Mixed session on Wall Street

local overnight. What's expected from our

local market today? We are

expecting the market to open

slightly lower. The futures index

is pointing to a loss of b about

0.25%. Europe stocks were sold off

overnight with London closing down

2%. We saw oil prices ease and the

price of gold has fallen. We expect

losss from the energy sector again

today. OK, Simpson from CommSec,

thank you for the update. Thank you.

There's been a setback for BHP

Billiton in its takeover bid for

rival Rio Tinto. The European

Commission has suspended its revuel

of BHP's proposed $190 billion

takeover offer as it seeks more

information from the mining giant.

The Commission was set to hand down

its decision on December 9. That

next yeafrplt could now be delayed until early

And briefly in other news now,

Babcock and Brown has promoted Babcock and Brown has promoted

John Fanning to CFO. AWB has

share-holder support to end the company's dual-class share

structure. The Federal Government

has announced a November 26

deadline forbids for the

network and new car sales took a multibillion national broadband

dive in August, falling 12.3%.

National weather for Thursday:

Checking this morning's newspaper

front pages now, the 'Australian'

reports lifting Australia's reserves of natural forests and

grasslands will be crucial to the fight against climate change.

The herald's business day says Ikea

will set up its south-east Asian

after years of delays. headquarters near Sydney airport

The 'Daily Telegraph' reports on a

number of reasons put forward as to

has resigned. why NSW deputy Premier John Watkins

Police lay charges over a murder

more than 20 years ago. Details

when we return.

NELSON... GOOD MORNING, I'M FIONA SUPERMARKETS, HAVE JOINED FIRST UP, LOCAL CANBERRA FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S THE CRITICISM, OF THE

SCHEME. GOVERNMENT'S GROCERY WATCH SAY, THE A-TRIPLE-C RUN, OPERATORS, IN THE CAPITAL

RUN, GROCERY WATCH, PUSHES CAPITAL SAY, THE A-TRIPLE-C WATCH, PUSHES PEOPLE TRIPLE-C RUN, GROCERY SUPERMARKETS AND AWAY FROM TOWARDS THE BIG RETAILERS WHO FIND IT HARD AND AWAY FROM SMALLER IT HARD TO COMPETE. SMALLER RETAILERS WHO FIND AUSTRALIA FROM JAPANESE SOLDIERS, WHO SAVED TWO, HAVE BEEN HONOURED, IN INVASION DURING WORLD WAR MEMORIAL YESTERDAY. A CEREMONY AT THE WAR REPRESENTED THE FEDERAL PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD, TRIBUTE TO THE SOLDIERS, ON GOVERNMENT, IN PAYING BATTLE OF AUSTRALIA DAY. AUSTRALIA DAY. SEPTEMBER, HAS BEEN MARKED THE FIRST WEDNESDAY IN REMEMBRANCE, AS IT MARKS AS THE ANNUAL DAY OF THE FIRST DEFEAT, OF THE JAPANESE IN PAPUA NEW

GUINEA. BEHIND A PLAN TO BUILD A TWO LOCAL BROTHERS, ARE RESORT, AND TOURIST VILLAGE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR RURAL AT BOWNING. HUNDRED JOBS IN THE AREA... THE PLAN, WILL CREATE TWO PROVIDE ACCOMMODATION FOR AND ONCE COMPLETE, WILL UP TO EIGHT HUNDRED PEOPLE.

TO 60 MILLION DOLLARS, AND THE PROPOSAL, COULD COST UP ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS, AS WILL INCLUDE A RANGE OF GYM FACILITIES. WELL AS RETAIL OUTLETS AND MORNING, THREE LOCAL AND IN SPORTS NEWS THIS PLAY OFF FOR THE MARIANNE SCHOOLS, ARE PREPARING TO TROPHY TODAY. MURPHY SHIELD, NETBALL JAMES SHEAHAN CATHOLIC ORANGE HIGH, WILL TAKE ON CATHOLIC HIGH, AND KINROSS TAKE ON JAMES SHEAHAN KINROSS WOLAROI SCHOOL, SHEAHAN CATHOLIC HIGH, AND

MADE IT THROUGH ROUND ROBIN AFTER ALL THREE SCHOOLS WEEK. COMPETITIONS EARLIER THIS

TODAY'S WEATHER... NOW HAVING A LOOK AT OFF BASS STRAIT AND EXTENDS A HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM IS SYSTEM IS OFF BASS STRAIT AND EXTENDS A RIDGE UP THE NEW SOUTH WALES COAST - A LOW PRESSURE TROUGH IS OFF NORTHERN NEW SOUTH WALES LOOKING ACROSS THE NATION - MOSTLY FINE BUT CLOUDY IN CANBERRA TODAY - WET CONDITIONS IN SYDNEY AND BRISBANE - CLEAR SKIES FOR MELBOURNE CLOSER TO HOME - PLENTY OF SHOWERS TODAY - WET WITH AN EXPECTED TOP OF 17 FOR DUBBO AND WAGGA - THE CHANCE OF A SHOWER AND 11 FOR ORANGE A SHOWER OR TWO FOR BATHURST 12 - 10 DEGREES 10 DEGREES FOR BOWRAL AND GOULBURN - SNOW FOR PERISHER A SHOWER OR TWO FOR MUDGEE 14 - 18 DEGREES ON THE WAY FOR PARKES - SNOW SHOWERS FOR THREDBO LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEXT FEW DAYS - WE CAN EXPECT MOSTLY FINE CONDITIONS TOMORROW AND OVER THE WEEKEND ON SUNDAY (NO SCRIPT NEEDED HERE)

This program is captioned live. Ten's

Early News this morning: Today's headlines:

John McCain's running mate Sarah

Palin to accept her nomination at

the national convention as she

prepares for the speech of her life.

An Australian soldier remains in a

critical conwhile eight others are critical conwhile eight others are

wounded after an ambush with the

Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

The Rudd Government facing its

first budget defeat with the Senate

set to block an increase to the luxury car tax.

In sport, spitting chips. The New

Zealand Warriors consider their

options after Wade McKinnon was

banned at the NRL judiciary.

And in finance, the economy growing

at its slowest rate in almost two

years, sparking fresh talks of more rate cuts.

But first, John McCain's running

mate, Sarah Palin, is preparing to

deliver the speech of her life in

just a few hours. She'll take to

the stage at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota in

a bid to silence her critics.

Sarah Palin is preparing for her

big night. The Republicans' first female Vice-Presidential candidate

checked out the stage where she'll

deliver hr high-stakes acceptance

speech. Last week, John McCain

surprised everyone when he chose

the rookie governor to be his

number two, the 44-year-old mother

of five hasn't said much since her

introductory rally. Instead,

revelations about her teenage

daughter's pregnancy and a State ethics ethics investigation have

dominated the headlines. All this

Kochie around her will make a lot

of Americans want to tune in and

see how she handles this. There's

no question that Palin, who is

staunchly anti-abortion and pro-gun,

has energised Republicans at the

convention and delegates from her

home state are confident she will

home state are confident she will

win over the rest of the country. I

work for her. I've seen what she

can do. She's so focused. She'll

set out to do something and she

will get it done. With just two

years as a governor and a prior years as a governor and a prior stint

stint as a small-town mayor,

Democrats are raising questions

about her experience and John McCain's vetting process. An Australian special forces

soldier is fighting for life after

an ambush by the Taliban in

southern Afghanistan. Another eight

soldiers were wounded. They'd been

returning from a mission in Oruzgan

province when they were attacked by gunfire

gunfire and rocket-propelled

grenades. There was an exchange of

fire. We were, um, we were ambushed. fire. We were, um, we were ambushed.

Several Taliban extremists were killed. It's Australia's highest

casualty rate in a single

engagement since Vietnam.

Victoria Police have charged a man

with the murder of his estranged

wife who went missing more than 20

years ago. Mother of five Marlene

McDonald was last seen at her

Reservoir home in 1986. Her body

has never been found. Her estranged

estranged husband, John Vincent McDonald, was arrested yesterday

morning and charged with one count

of murder. He'll force court again

this morning.

Kevin Rudd has warned Federal Labor

MP Belinda Neal to be on her best behaviour or face being stripped of

pre-selection. Yesterday, Ms Neal

was cleared over allegation that is

she bullied workers at Iguanas

nightclub and forced her own staff

to modify statutory declarations.

I did nothing wrong. I did not

swear. I did not threaten anyone's

job. Meantime, NSW Premier Morris

Iemma will announce a major Cabinet

reshuffle this week after the shock resignation of deputy John Watkins.

A showdown is looming in the Senate over

over the luxury car tax increase.

Last night, the Coalition botched a

chance to block the car tax after a Liberal Senator went AWOL.

Ality a dinner in Canberra Ality a dinner in Canberra celebrating the Howard government,

the former prime minister couldn't

resist a swipe at Labor over the

economy. I think I'll allow myself

this one comment - it was doing a

lot better under the former

government. Labor tried to spoil

the party. I know they'll all be

lining up to suck up to the former

prime minister. The Government's

ridicule continued after the

Opposition failed to block the

luxury car tax increase because a luxury car tax increase because a

Liberal Senator missed the vote.

The incompetence of the Opposition,

who can't even organise a raid on

the bueng eltet. I'm sincerely

sorry to the Senate for the

inconvenience off caused. The

Coalition failed in an rgment for

an immediate revote. Family First

Senator Steve Fielding voted with

the Coalition, which should have

been enough to kill the bill and

wipe $0.5 billion from the Budget

surp plus. This puts up the price

of cars for tourism and also farmers.

An Australian photo journalist and

two colleagues kidnapped at

gunpoint in Somalia may soon be

free. 35-year-old Nigel Brennan,

Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout

and their translator were abducted

outside the capital, Mogadishu,

last month. A Canadian newspaper

reports contact has been made with

the kidnappers and negotiations for

their release have been. All three are

are reportedly uninjured.

An Australian man is being held in

a Thai jail for allegedly committing crimes against the

country's royal family. The

41-year-old from Melbourne is a

university lecturer who wrote a

book that mentions the Thai Royals.

The details of the offence are unclear.

Emergency warnings have been issued

in The Bahamas as Tropical Storm

Hanna approaches. The storm has

already flooded parts of hate yay

killing at least 25 people.

Authorities Seyhan ya could reach

more cane strength as it moves

towards the south-east coast of the

US. New Orleans residents who fled

Hurricane Gustav this week are

returning to their homes despite a

warning that the city is still vulnerable.

NRL firstly and New Zealand

Warriors fullback Wade McKinnon has

been handed a 3-match suspension

for spitting at a match official.

The Warriors fullback pleaded not

guilty but the panel disagreed and

even though the three-Gambian was

considerably less than the 11 games

the NRL lawyers had been pushing

for, the Warriors seem likely to

lodge an appeal this morning. In a

much quicker hearing, Newcastle's

Matt Hilder was cleared of spitting

at Anthony Quinn.

Fremantle's Rhys Palmer has ended

the Dockers' dismal year on a

bright note. The 19-year-old

rewarded for an outstanding debut

season with the AFL's Rising Star.

It's a huge honour to win this

award, especially when you look

back and see all the great players back and see all the great players

that have won it and to be put in that have won it and to be put in

the same sentence as them, it's a

real honour. Collingwood is

confident that Scott Burns will be

fit for Saturday's elimination

final against Adelaide.

The V8 endurance season is on us.

The first event of the year will be

a 500km race at Phillip Island on

Sunday. For the first time this

season, drivers will be paired with

a team-mate. There's that shared

emotion and bond that you have to

build and it's exciting because

you're doing it for someone else as

well as the team and yourself so well as the team and yourself so

it's exciting times. Opening

practice begins tomorrow at the island for the traditional Bathurst warm-up event.

Nothing warm about the snow report.

We hope anyway. Our weekly report

from Thredbo. Fiona, what's it

like? Well, as you can see, it's

still snowing. We can definitely still snowing. We can definitely

forget about spripg for the time

being because winter does not want

to leave us. We had a few cent

metres of snow across all resorts

overnight. The flakes are set to

stay for moist of the day. Good

spring cover across the resorts. A

nice fresh layer so

it seems like Mother Nature will be

all over the place in the next few

days with snow showers and sun

forecast until Sunday so if you're

heading this way and you're heading this way and you're lucky

enough to be heading this way, my

advice would be to pack the winter

woolies aloaning with the sunnies

and T shirts. Thanks, Fiona.

Now to finance. Kath, weaker than

expected GDP figures. That's right, Bill.

The economy grew by just 0.3% for The economy grew by just 0.3% for

the June quarter, strengthening the

case for further interest rate cuts

this year. It was the weakest

quarterly growth in more than three

years with annual GDP easing to

2.7%. Household spending fell 0.1% as

as families felt the pain of higher

interest rates and petrol prices. The Federal Government says

although the economy is slowing,

it's still growing and doing better

than the economies of other

developed nations. The Government

acknowledges that we're not out of

the woods yet, Mr Speaker, but these figures are very solid.

Soaring commodity prices and strong business

business investment helped offset

weak household spending.

Consumer pessimism has impacted on

new car sales. Sales of cars and

trucks slumped more than 12% in

August with falls across all

classes of cars. There was a 19%

drop in sales of cars hit by the drop in sales of cars hit by the

Government's luxury vehicle tax but

sales for the first eight months of

this year are still ahead of this

same period in 2007.

Briefly in other news now,

Coca-Cola is offering to buy a

Chinese juice maker for nearly $2.5 billion.

Swedish retail giant Ikea is expanding its presence in Sydney

with a new flagship store to be built near the airport. built near the airport.

Virgin Blue is expanding into Papua

New Guinea, pushing for services

between Brisbane and Port Moresby

and the Bureau of Statistics will

today release international goods

and services trade data for July.

A recap of the market numbers now:

And that's all in finance news for this morning.

Thanks, Kath.

Princess Mary and Crown Prince

fretdric of Denmark -- Frederik of

depmark stepped out in Sydney

overnight to celebrate the opening

of a heart disease research centre.

The Royals were joined by some of The Royals were joined by some of Australia's richest families to

honour those who helped build the

$80 million Victor Chang

$80 million Victor Chang Building.

It was a very good cause and, um,

the Packers and the Lowys talked to

each other and said, "Why not? It's

a good thing to do and we are very

proud that we have done it."

Princess Mary is an honorary life governor of the Victor Chang

Institute.

She lost her mother to heart disease.

That's it for the Early News. Don't

forget 9am with David and Kim and

the morning news at 11:00. We'll