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Ten Early News -

View in ParlView

(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's top

stories - Australia adds a silver

and a bronze to our medal tally in

Beijing as Stephanie Rice heads Beijing as Stephanie Rice heads

back to the watercube chasing her

second gold medal in the 200m

individual medley. Meantime, Beijing Olympics

organisers admit to filling empty

stadium seats with cheerleaders and

using pre-taped fireworks and using pre-taped fireworks and

lip-syncing during the opening ceremony.

And a diplomatic breakthrough - the

Russian President orders a halt to

the military offensive in Georgia

after five days of air-and-land attacks.

In finance - the Commonwealth Bank

is expected to reveal a modest

increase in annual profits today,

whilst St George is expected to

post record earnings.

Australia's Olympic medal haul has

continued overnight with a silver

in the equestrian team eventing in

Hong Kong. And Robin Bell has

become the first Australian to win

an Olympic medal in canoe, claiming

a bronze in the slalom. Another

golden day is expected in the pool.

Another golden day in the pool for

Day 4 yesterday, and we'll be

expecting more medals this morning,

with Stephanie Rice leading the

charge in the watercube. But

yesterday, Leisel Jones was the one

that secured an individual gold

with her fiancee Marty Pask and her

mother overjoyed as she recorded

her first gold medal in the 100m

breaststroke. She's thrown up in

the front garden before she's even

hit the doorstep. She lived on soup

for 4-6 weeks. I felt confident she

was going to do well, but it's

still a big relief she's won. It

she deserves it. Both her and Marty

really worked hard to achieve this

since tries. I'm very proud of both

of them. Melissa Wu and Briony Cole

scored our first silver medal, this

one in the 10m synchronised diving. I'm incredibly excited, and a

little bit of relief. I'm just

really pleased with how everything

turned out today. Hayden Stoeckel has continued his meteoric rise by

winning the bronze in the men's 100m backstroke. Before we even got to

the Olympics, we thought third

would be unbelievable. So, yeah,

fantastic. Yeah, gave him a big

kiss and, yeah, a few little tears,

I think. But he was really happy. And congratulations to Robin Bell,

who became our first-ever canoe

medallist, with a bronze in the C1 slalom.

And we'll have more Olympic results

and the medal tally just a later in sport. and the medal tally just a little

Beijing Olympic Games organisers have admitted to faking some

segments of Friday's opening

ceremony. BOCOG says the child star

of the ceremony was miming, and

some television footage of the fireworks fireworks display was pre-produced

because of the smog. Because of the

visibility of the night, some

previously recorded footage may

have been used. BOCOG also

confirmed volunteer cheerleaders

were being used to fill some of the empty

empty seats in the stadiums.

After five days of intense fighting,

Russia's President has ordered an

end to military action against

Georgia after talks with French leader Nicolas Sarkozy. The

could cease-fire has raised hopes the war

could soon be over. But Russia has

hostilities. warned there could be further

This is the town of Gori, just 35

miles from the Georgian capital

tupolicey, under Russian

bombardment today.

At least five civilians are

reported to have been killed in

these latest attacks. The Georgians

are overwhelmed and in disarray.

Russia's decision to halt its

advance came amid growing fears

that the real objective was regime

change in Georgia. At the Kremlin

this morning, a televised meeting

between the Russian President,

Dmitry Medvedev, and his Defence

Minister and Chief of Staff. "I

have taken the decision to stop the

operation," said Mr Medvedev. "The

aggressor is punished and, bore

major losses." The Russians insist

the were merely defending their own

beleaguered citizens in South

Ossetia from Georgian attacks.

Georgians say they will be prepared

for anything until there's a formal

next peace agreement. That may be the

next stage. But it won't be the end

of tensions in an increasingly

troubled region.

The Government's much-hyped

FuelWatch scheme is under threat

after a key independent Senator

withdrew his support. Nick Xenophon says,

says, while he initially supported

the measure, he's now convinced it

won't boost competition and would

hurt independent retailers, with

the Coalition likely to block the

scheme, the Government needs the

backing of minor parties here.

FuelWatch allows motorists to find

the cheapest petrol prices in an

area on any given day.

Two children have died in a fire

that's destroyed a house in the North Queensland town of Rockhampton. The blaze quickly

engulfed the timber home, trapping

the 3-year-old boy and 2-year-old

girl. There were a number of adults

and children in the house. And

unfortunately, a couple of children

were unable to be removed from the

house prior to the engulfing house prior to the engulfing the whole

whole house. The children's mother

and grandmother, who managed to

escape the blaze, have been treated for smoke inhalation.

A woman has been found bashed to death in her home in Sydney's death in her home in Sydney's inner

west. The 56-year-old was discovered with multiple head

injuries in the house at Croydon

Park late yesterday. Police say

it's unclear how long she had been there. And are investigating

gone wrong. whether it may have been a robbery

Qantas has grounded six of its 737

aircraft after it found an irregularity in maintenance records.

The airline says there's no threat

to passenger safety, but the planes

will remain on the ground as records

records are crosschecked. Three flights have been cancelled. The

grounding is the latest in a series

of incidents and came as the

airline was named third best in airline was named third best in the

world in an international survey.

Lleyton Hewitt's Olympic campaign

has been brought to a sudden end by

Rafael Nadal. the world number one-in-waiting,

Rafael Nadal. It took Nadal 90

minutes to beat Hewitt.

This is what the medal tally looks

like heading into Day 5:

In AFL news, leading the Tigers

coaching into the finals next year, or the

coaching career is over - that's

how Terry Wallace sees his future at Richmond. Terry Wallace is into the fourth season of a 5-year deal to miss the finals, and with Richmond again likely their game in the next 12 months, he admits the Tigers must lift or it could cost him his job. Yeah absolutely, yeah. And that will be the case, why wouldn't that be the case? and after a 5-year period in term, We've got to be mature enough to handle that. While Wallace's future remains uncertain, Adelaide has extended its coach Neil Craig's contract by two years, the Crows re-signing the 52-year-old until the end of 2011, amid speculation the new Gold Coast franchise was circling. I'll only ever be a senior coach of one AFL club, and that'll be Adelaide and I'm really clear in my mind on that. Melbourne's nightmare season continues. Aaron Davey will miss the rest of the year with a heel injury, while major sponsor iPrimus has confirmed with the club after this year. it will downgrade its involvement Nathan Templeton, Ten News.

In cricket, Pakistan's Australian

coach Geoff Lawson is on his way

home and then to New Zealand as

part of a campaign to ease concern southern surrounding next month's

champions trophy. The International

Cricket Council has refused to

move the event despite apprehension

about Islamist militant violence in Pakistan. Geoff Lawson obviously

lives in Lahore, so he's got a

better sense of what's transpired

within Pakistan. Shoaib Akhtar will

be back in action for the host

nation after being named in their

squad. A court has suspended his

18-month ban for disciplinary

problems, and this comes after the

original ban was reduced on appeal.

To finance news - Kath, reporting

season stepping up a notch season stepping up a notch today.

Certainly does, Bill, with the

Commonwealth Bank expected to

reveal a modest lift in profit when it

it reports today. Yesterday, St

George reaffirmed profit growth of

between 8%-10%, and is expected to

post record earnings of 1.3 billion

dollars. St George boss remains in

support of the upcoming $18 billion

merger with Westpac, despite his

bank delivering stronger results

than its larger rival.

High interest rates and a sharp

drop in retail spend having

impacted hard on businesses, with

conditions slumping to a 7-year low.

The latest NAB survey also found

that business confidence has fallen

to levels not seen since 2001, with the

the industry fearing the downturn

has further to go. The number of

businesses planning to the increase businesses planning to the increase

their workforce has halved in the

past two months, while 15% are

planning cuts.

Briefly now:

To the numbers in detail - Wall

Street is lower after news that JP

Morgan has clocked up $1.5 billion

of quarterly losses on

mortgage-linked assets. Comments by

a Fed official regarding a slowdown

in growth also added to the market woes.

Let's check this morning's

newspaper headlines - the 'Daily

Telegraph' has more on our newest

Olympic gold medal with inner in

the pool, Leisel Jones, who won the

100m breaststroke.

The 'Herald's 'Business Day' says

Optus is pulling out all stops to

increase its share of the mobile-phone market, despite a plan first-quarter profit. 'The 'The Australian' reports on our

first silver medal at the Olympics,

won by the women's sink ruinised diving pair.

The fashion pack turning froutd a

good cause - details when the Early

News returns.

Flows in the Murrumbidgee come from Tantangara Dam, up there in the Snowies. ACTEW are looking at buying extra water for Canberra, having it released from the dam and then transferred from here to Googong to help secure water for life.

This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News. Today's

stories - Australia adds a silver

and a bronze to its Olympic medal

tally, as gold medallist Stephanie

Rice heads back to the watercube

hoping for a second win - this

time the 200m individual medley.

The Russian and French presidents

negotiate an end to the conflict in

Georgia, with troops from both

sides ordered to withdraw.

Fire crews trying to find out what

sparked a house fire in North

Queensland that has claimed the

lives of two young children.

And in finance news - businesses

hit hard by the retail slump, with

conditions falling to their lowest

levels in seven years.

But first - Australia has won

silver in the equestrian team eventing on another successful

night at the Beijing Games. Also

adding to the medal haul - canoeist

Robin Bell, who claimed

Robin Bell, who claimed bronze in

the slalom. Yesterday, Leisel Jones

overcame her Athens nightmare to

win her first individual gold in

the 100m breaststroke, while Briony

Cole coal and Melissa Wu took out

our first silver of the Games in

the synchronised diving. Incredibly

excited and a little bit of relief

and, um, yeah, I'm just - you know,

really pleased at how everything

turned out today. Stephanie Rice will

will be back at the watercube today

chasing her second gold medal in

the 200m individual medley.

We'll have more Olympic results and

a medal tally a little later in sport.

Tamsyn Lewis has arrived in Beijing

and is standing by claims that she'll be racing against drug

cheats at the Games. Lewis says

you'd have to be naive to think otherwise.

Tamsyn Lewis hopes to be walking

the walk in these Games, but she

appears to have no trouble talking

the talk. I said what I said, and I

meant it. I'm not taking it back.

If they don't like it, well, that's

fair enough - they can speak to me.

Lewis maintaining she's disillusioned with her sport,

brought about by a belief she'll be

competing against drug cheats. Her

comments prompted Australian

Olympic Committee heavyweight Peter

Montgomery, himself a 4-time Montgomery, himself a 4-time

Olympian, to say she should

concentrate on her own performance

rather than the drugs issue. I

don't know who Peter Montgomery don't know who Peter Montgomery is,

personally. The AOC won't be

speaking to Lewis about the

comments. A spokesman said the 3-thime

3-thime Olympian is free to express

her opinions. I don't mind anymore.

I tend to say the wrong thing all

the time, apparently, for those

guys. I don't think I made a huge

statement. I was just saying the statement. I was just saying the

facts - the best in the world in my

event was done for drugs, and she's

out of the Games. End of story.

Russian Russia has ordered an end

to its military action in Georgia.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy

helped broker the deal when he met

with Russian leaders in Moscow. The

peace plan calls for both Russian

and Georgian troops to pull back to

their original positions. More than

2,000 people have been killed in

the fighting that began when

Georgia tried to take back control

of breakaway province South Ossetia. Authorities are investigating a

fire that's killed a brother and

sister in Rockhampton in central

Queensland. Their mother and Queensland. Their mother and

grandmother escaped the blaze, but

could rescue only one child.

Two young lives lost in a tragic

fire at this Rockhampton house. A

brother and sister, aged three and

two, were trapped in thick smoke as flames quickly engulfed flames quickly engulfed their

timber home. A number of children

have been trapped in the house.

Their mother and grandmother

managed to escape, but could only

rescue one child in the intense

blaze. There were a number of

adults and children in the house.

Unfortunately, a couple of children

were unable to be removed from the

house prior to the fire engulfing

the whole house. The mother and

grandmother were taken to hospital and and treated for minor burns and

smoke inhalation. Fire and police officers are still investigating

the cause of the blaze, but are not

treating it as suspicious.

The Government's much-hyped

FuelWatch scheme is under threat

after a key independent Senator

withdrew his support. Nick Xenophon

says, while he initially supported

the measure, he's now convinced it

won't boost competition and would

hurt independent retailers. With

hurt independent retailers. With

the Coalition likely to block the

scheme, the Government needs the

backing of minor parties. FuelWatch allows motorists to find the

cheapest petrol prices in an area

on any given day.

Australia and Singapore have signed

a defence pact aimed at strengthening their military

cooperation in Afghanistan. Prime

Minister Kevin Rudd headed home

overnight after a 6-day flow overnight after a 6-day flow flying

visit to China, South Korea and

Singapore. Today, he'll join West

Australian Premier Alan Carpenter Australian Premier Alan Carpenter

on the campaign trail in that State election.

A celebrity-studded fashion show

has been held in Sydney overnight

to celebrate the 10th anniversary

of the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

Cancer campaign in Australia. Sarah Cancer campaign in Australia. Sarah

Murdoch introduced the parade of designer Alex Perry's new

spring-summer collection. Breast

cancer is the number one cause of

cancer death in women. In Australia

cancer death in women. In Australia

today, more than 13,000 women will

be newly diagnosed with breast

cancer. Them capain, which began in

the US, raises awareness and funds

research into breast cancer. Last

night's event also doubled as a

pre-launch for the Sydney fashion

festival, which kicks off tomorrow.

Australia's male basketball team fac

tough task in Beijing - they've

lost another game. The Boomers went

down to reigning champions Argentina.

They now have to win two of their

remaining three matches to make the quarterfinals.

Richmond's Terry Wallace says his

side must make the finals next year,

or his coaching career is over. Now

into the fourth season of a 5-year contract, Wallace concedes a finals

berth is overdue. Yeah, absolutely.

Yeah. And that will be the case.

And, you know, after a 5-year period

period and term, why wouldn't that

be the case? We've got to be mature

enough to handle that. Meanwhile,

the Adelaide Crows have extended

coach Neil Craig's contract until

the end of 2011.

Queensland Roar coach Frank Farina

is backing skipper Craig Moore's

poor disciplinary record. The club

has extended Moore's contract for

another two years. Farina lashed

out at the critics of Moore, who's

been sent off three times in the past been sent off three times in the

past year. No, Craig Moore doesn't

have a discipline problem. He's our

captain. He's a club captain. And

he's a great leader, not only on the

the park, but off the park. So, ah,

no. But I've asked him kindly not

to get any more red cards. Moore

will miss the Roar's season opener

against Wellington because - you

guessed it - he's suspended.

A sharp fall in retail spending has

taken its toll on businesses, with

conditions slumping to a 7-year low,

according to the latest NAB survey.

With more, CommSec's Juliette Saly

joins us live. What other factors

are to blame for the slump? Kath,

again, we thank those rising petrol

prices and higher living costs for the slowdown. The NAB business

conditions index fell to a reading

of -5.3 in July, so well below the

10-year average of a plus-8 reading.

The Reserve Bank will probably take

this as more confidence that it's

done enough to put the breaks on

the economy, therefore paving the

way for interest-rate cuts in the

near term. The local share market closed slightly higher yesterday. What's expected today?

Unfortunately, it looks like we

will break that 5-day winning

streak on the local share market. streak on the local share market.

We saw stocks in Europe and the US

fall overnight. The Dow Jones index

off by 1.5%, with really heavy

selling in financials. We've also

had lower commodity prices across

the board. So it's not looking like

a very positive start. The futures

pointing to a drop of about 40

points, or 0.75% when the market

opens, Kath. Juliette Saly from

CommSec, thanks for the update. Thanks.

The Commonwealth Bank is expected

to reveal a modest lift in profit

when it reports today. St George yesterday reaffirmed profit yesterday reaffirmed profit growth

of between 8%-10%, shaking off the

grobl credit crunch. The bank, due

to merge with Westpac in November, is expected to post record earnings

of $1.3 billion. Despite the strong results, borrowers shouldn't expect

to see any cut in bank interest rates.

They've been posting significant

profit results for the last decade.

They want that to continue, and

obviously the banks ultimately

answer to the shareholders - not

the Government, the media or the

Australian public. The market will also be watching for Telstra's

result today. Briefly in other business news:

Another drama for Qantas - that's

coming up. And we'll have more in finance

finance when the Early News returns.

This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News. Today's

top stories - Australia adding a

silver and a bronze overnight to

our medal tally in Beijing as

Stephanie Rice heads back to the

water cube today chasing her second

gold medal - this time in the 200m

individual medley.

Meantime, Beijing Olympics

organisers admit to filling empty

stadium seats with cheerleaders and

using pre-taped fireworks and

lip-sinking during the opening

ceremony. Lip-syncing.

And the Russian President orders a

military halt to the offensive in

Georgia after five days of fierce fighting.

In finance - the Commonwealth Bank

expected to reveal a modnist crease

in annual profits today, whilst St George George is expected to post record earnings.

Australia's Olympic medal haul has

continued overnight with a continued overnight with a silver

in the equestrian team eventing in

Hong Kong. And Robin Bell has

become the first Australian to win

an Olympic medal in canoe, claiming

a bronze in the slalom. The pool

should again be a source of medals today.

Another golden day in the pool for

Day 4 yesterday, and we'll be

expecting more medals this morning,

with Stephanie Rice leading the

charge in the watercube. But

yesterday, Leisel Jones was the one

that secured an individual gold and

her fiance Marty Pask and her

mother were overjoyed that she

wiped away the ghost of Athens. Her

training in the last 12 months, you

couldn't fault her. She's come home

and thrown up in the front garden

before hitting the front doorstep.

She lived on soup for 4-6 weeks. I

felt confident she was going to do

well, but it's stistail big relief

she has actually won. It she

deserves it. Both her and Marty

have worked hard since trials to do

this, and I'm proud of oboth of

them. Melissa Wu and Briony Cole

won silver in the sic ruinised

diving. I'm incredibly excited and

a little bit of relief. I'm really pleaseded a how everything turned

out today. Hayden Stoeckel won the

bronze in the men's 100m backstroke.

Before we even got to the Olympics,

we thought third would be unbelievable.

unbelievable. So, yeah, fantast.

Yeah, gave him a big kiss and, ah,

yeah, a few little tears, I think.

But he was really happy. But he was really happy. And

congratulations to Robin Bell, who

became our first-ever canoe

medallist with a bronze in the C

unwith shraul -- C1 slalom.

More Olympic results and the medal

tally a little later in sport.

Tamsyn Lewis says she won't back

down from her comments about drug

cheats at the Olympics. Arriving in

Beijing last night, Lewis repeated

claims that she will be racing

against doped athletes in her 800m

event. I said what I said and I

meant it. I'm not taking it back.

If they don't like it, that's fair

enough. They can speak to me. The gold-medal favourite in her event

was banned for drug use last week.

Beijing Games organisers have

admitted to faking some segments of

Friday's opening ceremony. BOCOG

says the child star of the ceremony

was miming, and some television

footage of the fireworks display

was produced because of the

city's's smog. Because of the poor

visibility of the night, some

previously recorded footage may

have been used. BOCOG also confirmed volunteer cheerleaders

were being used to fill all those

empty seats in the stadiums.

After five days of intense fighting,

Russia's President has ordered an

end to military action against

Georgia, following talks with the

French leader, Nicolas Sarkozy. The

cease-fire has raised hopes the war

could soon be over. But Russia has warned there could be further hostilities.

This is the town of Gori, just 35

miles from the Georgian capital

Tbilisi, under Russian bombardment today.

At least five civilians are

reported to have been killed in

these latest attacks. The Georgians

are overwhelmed and in disarray.

Russia's decision to halt its

advance came amid growing fears

that the real objective was regime

change in Georgia. At the Kremlin

this morning, a televised meeting

between the Russian President,

Dmitry Medvedev, and his Defence Minister

Minister and Chief of Staff. "I

have taken the decision to stop the

operation," said Mr Medvedev. "The

aggressor is punished and bore

major losses." This is South

Ossetia, where it all began last

week. The Russians insist they were

merely defending their own

beleaguered citizens here from

Georgian attacks. Georgians say

they want to see evidence of a

Russian cease-fire, and will be prepared for anything until there's

a formal peace agreement. That a formal peace agreement. That may

be the next stage. But it won't be

the end of tensions in an increasingly troubled region.

Australian drag racer Troy

Critchley facing a life sentence in

the US, has agreed to a plea deal.

Critchley lost control of his car Critchley lost control of his car

during a demonstration burnout last year, killing six spectators.

Details of the plea deal will

apparently be released later today.

Two children have died in a fire

that's destroyed a house in the North

North Queensland town of Rockhampton. The blaze quickly

engulfed the timber home, trapping

the 3-year-old boy and 2-year-old

girl. There were a number of adults

and children in the house. And

unfortunately, a couple of children were unable to be removed from the

house prior to the fire engulfing

the whole house. The children's

mother and grandmother, who managed

to escape the blaze, have been

treated for smoke inhalation.

Qantas has grounded six of its 737

aircraft after it found an irregulatarity in maintenance

records. The planes will remain on

the ground as the records are

crosschecked. Three flights have

been cancelled. The grounding came

as the airline was named third best

in the world in an international survey.

A celebrity-studded fashion show has been held in Sydney overnight

to celebrate the 10th anniversary

of the Fashion Targets Breast

Cancer campaign in Australia. Sarah

Murdoch introducing the parade of

designer Alex Perry's new

spring-summer collection. Breast

cancer is the number-one cause of

cancer death in women. In Australia

today, more than 13,000 women will

be newly diagnosed with breast

cancer. The campaign, which began

in the US, raises awareness and

funds research into breast cancer.

Last night's event also doubled as

a pre-launch for the Sydney Fashion Festival. Lleyton Hewitt's Olympic campaign

has been brought to a sup sudden

stop by the world number

one-in-waiting, Rafael Nadal.

Richmond coach Terry Wallace

believes his future is in jeopardy

if he doesn't get the Tigers to the finals this year. Terry Wallace is into the fourth season of a 5-year deal and with Richmond again likely to miss the finals, he admits the Tigers must lift their game in the next 12 months, or it could cost him his job. Yeah. Absolutely, yeah. And that will be the case. And after a 5-year period in term, why wouldn't that be the case? We've got to be mature enough to handle that. While Wallace's future remains uncertain, Adelaide has extended its coach Neil Craig's contract by two years, the Crows signing the 52-year-old until the end of 2011, amid speculation the new Gold Coast franchise was circling.

I'll only ever be a senior coach of one AFL club, and that'll be Adelaide and I'm really clear in my mind on that. Melbourne's nightmare season continues. Aaron Davey will miss the rest of the year with a heel injury,

while major sponsor iPrimus has confirmed it will downgrade its involvement with the club after this year. Nathan Templeton, Ten News.

Cricket news - Pakistan's

Australian coach Geoff Lawson is on

his way home and to New Zealand his way home and to New Zealand as

part of a campaign to ease concern

surrounding next month's champions

trophy. The International Cricket

Council has refused to move the

event, despite fears about Islamist event, despite fears about Islamist

militant violence in Pakistan. militant violence in Pakistan.

Geoff Lawson, obviously, lives in

Lahore. So he's got a better sense

of what's transpiring within

Pakistan. Shoaib Akhtar will be

back in action for the host nation

after being named in their squad. A

court has suspended his 18-month

ban for disciplinary problems,

after the original ban was reduced

on appeal. Reporting

Reporting season starting to get

heated, Kath? It is indeed, Bill, with the Commonwealth Bank with the Commonwealth Bank unveiling its results today. It's

expected to reveal a small increase

in profit. Yesterday, St George reaffirmed

reaffirmed profit growth of between 8%-10%, with predicted record

earnings of $1.3 billion. Borrowers

could, though, be forgiven for

thinking the big lenders could

afford to cut home-loan interest

rates, but that's unlikely to

happen, as banks attempt to claw

back profits lost in the -- crudt crisis. Cashed up but penny-wise, St George has recorded impressive earnings growth

despite a global credit crunch which, while hurting rival lenders, has eased. The cost of money has been falling, which means they have the capacity, now, to reduce their mortgage rates. But customers shouldn't expect any sudden interest rate relief from the banks. REPORTER: So, no guarantees as yet? No guarantees. I'm not in the business of giving guarantees. They've been posting significant profit results year in, year out for the last decade and they want that to continue and obviously the banks answer to their shareholders, not the Government, not the media and not the Australian public. I would say in general, that's what they're about, making money, but it would be nice to get a bit back, yeah. Well they're just trying to profiteer, just make as much money as they can. I think it's about time that we got a little bit back. If the bank interest rate rises of the recent past are anything to go by the prospect of a cut would appear unlikely. Even though the Reserve Bank has signalled that it's getting ready to cut the official cash rate. That's expected to happen in September. but one senator says the Reserve has become a blunt instrument. There has to be a serious inquiry made as to why the banks are managing to just ignore the Reserve Bank. Murray McCloskey, Ten News.

High interest rates and a sharp drop in retail spending drop in retail spending have

impacted hard on businesses. The

latest NAB survey has found

business conditions have slumped to

a 7-year low, while business

confidence has also fallen to

levels not seen since 2001. The

survey also revealed the number of survey also revealed the number of businesses planning to increase businesses planning to increase

their workforce has halved in the

past two months, while 15% are

past two months, while 15% are planning cuts. To other business news briefly:

To the market numbers now - Wall

Street is lower after news that JP

Morgan has clocked up a $1.5

billion quarterly loss on mortgage-linked assets.

This morning's newspaper front pages - 'Courier-Mail' covers This morning's newspaper front

Leisel Jones's joy in finally

winning an individual gold in the

Review' says calls are increasing 100m breaststroke. The 'Financial

for a national set of guidelines on

privately funded major

infrastructure projects. And the

'Sydney Morning Herald' says Kevin

Rudd's FuelWatch scheme is dead in

the water after losing vital

support in the Senate.

How the animals at Tokyo Zoo are

keeping their cool - details when

the Early News returns. GOOD MORNING, I'M FIONA FIONA NELSON...

NELSON... LOOKING FOR A MAN WHO FIRST UP, A-C-T POLICE, ARE CHEMIST, ARMED WITH A ROBBED A PALMERSTON SYRINGE. THE MAN, SAID TO BE ABOUT 25 YEARS OLD, ROBBED THE AFTERNOON, BEFORE RUNNING STORE LATE MONDAY FROM THE SCENE WITH CASH. ARE URGED TO TAKE CARE. PEOPLE HEADING TO THE SNOW HUNDRED AND 10 PEOPLE THERE HAVE BEEN MORE THAN A A HIGHER NUMBER THAN LAST INJURED SO FAR THIS YEAR... SEASON. PERISHER, WILL HAVE TWO NEW SKI-DOOS OPERATING FROM THE REMAINDER OF THE SEASON, TO AMBULANCE STATION FOR THE SHORTAGE. HELP WITH THE PARAMEDIC COOMA, WILL RETURN TO WORK TEACHERS AT MONARO HIGH IN ON STRIKE YESTERDAY. THIS MORNING, AFTER GOING

STATE-WIDE STOP WORK THE TEACHERS, JOINED A EDUCATION DEPARTMENT'S ACTION, TO PROTEST THE TEACHER TRANSFER SYSTEM. PLAN, TO GET RID OF THE

PLAN WILL HELP SCHOOLS THE GOVERNMENT SAYS, THE TEACHERS... BUT THOSE AT ATTRACT SPECIALIST CLIMATE, WOULD MAKE IT MONARO HIGH SAY THE COLDER THE SCHOOL. HARDER TO ATTRACT STAFF TO

HAVE ANNOUNCED, THIS YEAR'S TO SPORT, AND THE RAIDERS, THE FIRST EVER MAL MENINGA BEST PLAYER, WILL RECEIVE MEDAL. TO THE TWO THOUSAND AND THE MEDAL, WILL BE AWARDED AND WILL BE PRESENTED BY EIGHT PLAYER OF THE YEAR... OF SEASON PRESENTATIONS. MENINGA HIMSELF, AT THE END THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PLAYER THE AWARD, IS NAMED AFTER MENINGA SAYS IT'S AN HONOUR IN RAIDERS HISTORY... AND TO BE RECOGNISED THIS WAY. TODAY'S WEATHER... NOW HAVING A LOOK AT THE BIGHT WITH A DEVELOPING A HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM IN SOUTHWEST FLOW OVER THE LOW WILL MAINTAIN A COOL

THE WEEK. REGION FOR THE REMAINDER OF

MOSTLY SUNNY FOR CANBERRA LOOKING ACROSS THE NATION - MELBOURNE AND ADELAIDE - AND SYDNEY - SHOWERS FOR HOBART AND SOME MOUNTAIN SNOW FOR FROST THEN SOME CLOUDY CLOSER TO HOME - EARLY SHOWER OR TWO FOR ORANGE PERIODS FOR DUBBO 13 - A FOR WAGGA SEVEN THE EXPECTED TOP - 11 A TOP OF NINE - 16 DEGREES MOSTLY SUNNY IN BOWRAL WITH BAY ON THE WAY FOR BATEMAN'S BUT CLOUDY DAY FOR COOMA MORNING FROST THEN A FINE IN THREDBO NINE - SNOWFALLS CLEARING

FEW DAYS - TOMORROW AND LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEXT

TOMORROW AND FRIDAY THERE'S THE NEXT FEW DAYS - - AND WE SHOULD HAVE FINE POSSIBLE SHOWERS ON THE WAY THE WEEKEND. CONDITIONS FOR THE START OF (NO SCRIPT NEEDED HERE)

HERE)

This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News. Today's

stories - Australia adding a silver

and a bronze to its Olympic medal tally as gold medallist Stephanie

Rice heads back to the pool,

medley. hoping to win the 200m individual

The Russian and the French

presidents negotiate an end to the

conflict in Georgia, with troops

from both sides ordered to withdraw. Fire

Fire crews try to find out what

sparked a house fire in North

Queensland that has claimed the

lives of two young children.

And in finance news - businesses

hit hard by the retail slump, hit hard by the retail slump, with

conditions falling to their lowest

levels in seven years.

But first - Australia has won

silver in the equestrian team eventing on another successful night at the Beijing Games. night at the Beijing Games. Also

adding to the medal haul - canoeist

Robin Bell, who's claimed bronze Robin Bell, who's claimed bronze in

the slalom. Yesterday, Leisel Jones

overcame her Athens nightmare to

win her first individual gold in

the 100m breaststroke, while Briony

Cole and Melissa Wu took out our

synchronised diving. Incredibly first silver of the Games in the

excited and a little bit of relief

and, um, yeah, I'm just - you know,

really pleased at how everything turned out today. Stephanie Rice

will be back at the watercube today

chasing her second gold medal at these

these Games in the 200m individual medley.

We'll have more Olympic results and

a medal tally a little later in sport.

Tamsyn Lewis, meantime, has arrived

in bay skpipbg and is standing by claims that she tell be racing

against drug cheats at these Games.

to think Lewis says you'd have to be naive

to think otherwise.

Tamsyn Lewis hopes to be walking

the walk in these Games, but

appears to have no trouble talking

the talkment I said what I said and

I meant it. I'm not taking it back.

If they don't like it, that's fair

enough. They can speak to me. Lewis

maintaining she's disillusioned by

with her sport, brought about by a

belief she'll be competing against

drug cheats. A 4-time Olympian,

Peter Montgomery, saying she should

concentrate on her own performance.

I don't know who Peter Montgomery

is personally. The AOC hasn't

spoken to Lewis about her comments,

and won't be doing so. A spokesman for the organisation says the

3-time Olympian is free to express

her opinions. I don't mind anymore.

I tend to say the wrong thing all

the time, apparently, for those

guys. I don't think I made a guys. I don't think I made a huge

statement. I was saying the facts - the best in the world in my event

was done for drugs, and she's out

of the Games. End of story.

Russia has ordered an end to its

military action in Georgia. French

President Nicolas Sarkozy helped

broker the deal when he met with

Russian leaders in Moscow. The

peace plan calls for Russian and

Georgian troops to pull back to

their original positions. More than

2,000 people have been killed in

the fighting that began when

Georgia tried to take back control

of breakaway province South Ossetia.

The Government's much-hyped

FuelWatch scheme is under threat

after a key independent Senator

withdrew his support. Nick Xenophon

says, while he initially supported

the measure, he's now convinced it

won't boost competition, and would

hurt independent retailers, with

the Coalition likely to block the

scheme, the Government needs the backing

backing of minor parties. FuelWatch

allows motorists to find the

cheapest petrol prices in an area

area on any day.

Two children have died in a fire

that's destroyed a house in the

North Queensland town of

Rockhampton. The blaze quickly

engulfed the timber home, trapping

the 3-year-old -- trapping a

3-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl.

There were a number of adults and

children in the house. And

unfortunately, a couple of children

were unable to be removed from the

house prior to the fire engulfing

the whole house. The children's

mother and grandmother, who mother and grandmother, who managed

to escape the blaze, have been

treated for smoke inhalation.

Another problem for Qantas, with the

the airline grounding six of its

737 aircraft due to an irregularity in its maintenance records. The

airline says there's no threat to

passenger safety, but the planes

will stay on the ground as records

are crosschecked. Three flights have

have been cancelled. The grounding

is the latest in a series of incidents, and came as the incidents, and came as the airline

was named the third-best in the

world in an international survey.

Australia and Singapore have signed

a defence pact aimed at

strengthening their military

cooperation in Afghanistan. Prime

Minister Kevin Rudd headed home

overnight after a 6-day visit to

China, South Korea and Singapore.

Today, he'll join the West

Australian Premier, Alan Carpenter,

on the campaign trail in the State election.

The Australian men's basketball

team faces a tough task in Beijing

after going down to the reigning after going down to the reigning champion Argentina.

The Boomers now have to win two of

their remaining three matches to make the quarterfinals. Richmond's Terry Wallace says his

side must make the finals next year,

or his coaching career will be over.

Now into the fourth seize onf a

5-year contract, Wallace concedes a

finals berth is over overdue. finals berth is over overdue. Yeah,

absolutely. Yeah. And that will be

the case. And after a 5-year period

in term, why wouldn't that be the

case? We've got to be mature enough

to handle that. Meanwhile, the

Adelaide Crows have extended coach

Neil Craig's contract until the end of 2011.

A few wild minutes in Newcastle's

win over the Gold Coast has earned

Knights centre Adam MacDougall a week

week in the stands. MacDougall was

booked in the 14th minute for a

head slam on Titan Gavin Cooper.

Just one minute later - this could

be something of a record in the NRL

- he was booked for a dangerous

throw. An early guilty plea to both

charges will see him miss one week

of rugby league.

He joins Dragons back rower Lagi

Setu in sitting out Round 23 after

his careless high tackle on Tiger Corey Payne.

A sharp fall in retail spending has

taken its toll on businesses, with

conditions slumping to a 7-year low, according

according to the latest NAB survey.

For more, CommSec's Juliette Saly

sol joins us live. What are the

other factors to blame for the

slump? Once again, it's rising

petrol prices, and also rising

costs, which have really dented companies' profitability. The NAB

business conditions index fell to a

reading of -5.3 in July, well below

the 10-year average of a +8 reading.

The only comfort the Reserve Bank

may take from the slowdown is it is

now time to cut interest rates.

We're forcache two rate cuts over

the next six months. The local share market

The local share market closed

slightly higher yesterday. It looks

like we will break a 5-day winning

streak. The Dow Jones index fell 1.5% overnight, and the European

markets were weak too. Financials

were sold off on on more concerns

about the credit market. Weaker

commodity prices across the board.

That's likely to take away from That's likely to take away from our

resource and energy stocks. It's

looking like a weak start, the

futures pointing to a loss of about

30 points, or 0.6%, on open. Thank

you. Thanks. The The Commonwealth Bank is

expected to reveal a modest lift in

profit when it reports today. St

George yesterday reaffirmed profit

growth of between 8% and 10%, shaking off the global credit

crunch. The bank, which is due to mother-in-law mother-in-law with Westpac mother-in-law with Westpac in

November, is expected to post

record earn ofgz $1.3 million.

Borrowers should not expect to see

any cut in interest rates. They've

been posting significant profit

results for the last decade. They

want that to continue, and

obviously the banks ultimately

answer to the shareholders. Not the

Government, not the media and not

the Australian public. The market

will also be watching for Telstra's

results due out today.

The Australian tax a fs has warn

that wealthy individuals, property and share investors and share investors and

self-managed superfunds will face

closer scrutiny this year. Details

of the ATO's audit program have

been made public a day early. The

office says it will be targeting

tax cheats after discovering irregularities in tax returns last

year. To other business news briefly:

That's it for the day in finance, Bill. Thanks, Kath.

Well, some hot and bothered animals

at Tokyo Zoo have been given some

giant iceblocks to help them giant iceblocks to help them cool

down as the temperatures soar. The polar

polar bears knew exactly how to

break the ice to retrieve the

surprises frozen inside. I guess

it's in the genes but getting to the tantalising treats proved a

little more difficult for these

little more difficult for these

monkeys. Much to the amusement of onlookers.

Looked like a Woods family home

movie there for a second! Recapping our top stories -

Australia has added a silver and a

bronze to the medal tally in Beijing. Stephanie Rice heads back

to the watercube today, chasing her

second gold medal of these Games,

this time in the 200m individual medley. Meantime, Beijing Olympics

organisers admit to filling empty

stadium seats with cheerleaders,

and using pre-taped fireworks and

lip-syncing during the opening ceremony.

And a diplomatic breakthrough - the

Russian President orders a halt to

the military offensive in Georgia

after five days of fierce fighting.

And that's it for Ten's Early News.

Don't forget 9am with David and Kim,

the morning news at 11:00, and

we'll wrap it up for you at 5:00.

I'm Bill Woods. Bye for now. And

I'm Kathryn Robinson. Have a great day.

Supertext Captions by Red Bee Media Australia.