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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Tonight - and warnings of more on the way. An interest rate shock for borrowers she's being denied justice. A Sydney hit-run victim claims

I'm just devastated and shocked. she's being denied justice. I'm just devastated and shocked.

on the State's apple crop. The costly impact of a hailstorm

honours a cricket legend And a 'marvellous' statue from Sydney's west.

with Chris Bath. VOICEOVER: This is Seven News

a shock rise in mortgage payments Sydney homeowners are facing Good evening.

on lifting official interest rates. even before the Reserve Bank decides has got in first National Australia Bank and makes no apology for it. other lenders are set to follow. Now, Mornington Peninsula Off the spectacular a day of sunshine and sailing of the National Australia Bank for the CEO Ahmed Fahour. he'd announce But just hours later

in Australia his bank would be the first to increase its interest rates independent of the Reserve Bank. We're looking at 8.69% for NAB in 10 years. and that's the highest rate The rate jumped 0.12% - on a $200,000 mortgage. about $20 a month

And customers are fuming. We're long, loyal customers if they're going to keep doing this. but we'd change without hestitation

It's simple maths. It's gonna hurt somewhere, straight off the bat. it's gonna hit the back pocket to be mindful of the impact I would urge all Australian banks

and businesses. on Australian families to be mindful of the impact I would urge all Australian banks and businesses. on Australian families

is being ignored. But the new Treasurer The other banks will quickly follow. The market is free, the banks can charge what they like.

to vote with their feet But it's up to consumers about what bank they'll support. Fuelling the anger, the timing - days after Christmas record $1.50 a litre. and just as petrol approaches a the banks say And, like the petrol companies, it's not their fault. It's all due to overseas factors the US sub-prime mortgage crisis. in particular, from the NAB But trying to get anyone to explain that today on camera was impossible.

working on this today There are two of us

absolutely flat out. and we have been as the news itself. Our news crews as unwelcome It's 2m - what's the difference? killed by her father Friends of an Iranian girl

in Sydney's north-west, say had just started seeing boys. the teenager then took his own life The man strangled the 13-year-old, of her male friends. apparently because he disapproved the quiet Iranian family Neighbours barely knew until 6:30 last night a mother's horrific screams. when they heard She'd come home and husband dead. to find her 13-year-old daughter It's a tragedy. just at the beginning of her life. A young girl, 13,

Witnesses say then a scream. they heard an argument, Detectives believe the father strangled his daughter and killed himself.

It's gotta be stopped. something's got to be done to - Someone's got to -

do you know what I mean, to protect these kids.

It's a nice area, it's a good area. And at this stage, on the family I can't really elaborate or any motives for this incident. While Eastwood police investigated of a man and his daughter the murder suicide were facing court a mother and her son in Schofields. charged over the murder of a man Maitland Court was told had fully confessed her involvement a 50-year-old woman to certain people. in the mutilation She's accused of taking part John McCann of Sydney social worker who was found dead on New Year's Day allegedly killed with a tomahawk. the woman and her 14-year-old son The court heard

of domestic violence. were the victims today He faced Parramatta Children's Court also charged with the murder. Both were denied bail. to manslaughter A Sydney man has pleaded not guilty of his girlfriend in Canberra over the hit-run death

on New Year's Eve. appeared in court this afternoon Wayne Antoniazzo 18-year-old Amaranta Vega accused of running down and leaving her for dead. from massive head injuries. She died in hospital to deal with what has happened. And we are all struggling her parents are feeling and we are all feeling the pain This is a very sad time for us

because it is our pain as well. to re-appear in court next month. Antoniazzo was remanded left for dead in a hit-run A young Sydney woman is devastated after learning on her case. prosecutors are giving up she's being denied justice Jenny Franco says that has ruined her life. for an attack Jenny Franco had been dreading. It was the news The DPP rang to drop the charges and mentioned that they have decided

against the accused. He's Stuart Graham blamed for the hit-and-run the cab driver that almost killed her a year ago. Miss Franco has been told against Graham there's not enough evidence for the case to proceed and, therefore will be withdrawn the charges against him

on Tuesday. when the case returns to court it's back to square one She feels like and a further painful blow. I am just devastated and shocked. It was my biggest fear and that this could happen. It just feels very surreal was on her way home The 24-year-old last February after a night out with friends

dragged 150m along the road when she was hit by a cab, and left to die.

many feared she wouldn't survive. The injuries were so bad as has part of her skull Her left eye has been removed, while her arms and legs are still badly injured. Looking in the mirror is still devastating. My bright future is down the drain. I have such deep scarring all over my body. The DPP's office said it can't comment on the case. Three drivers have been rescued and a caravan park evacuated as floodwaters rise on the State's north coast. More than 200mm of rain has fallen in some areas forcing road closures around Lismore. as the Wilsons River quickly rose. Vehicles had to be abandoned

It's expected to peak at 7m this evening. The SES has responded to more than 80 calls for help but the damage isn't serious. Farmers in the State's south-west are counting the cost of a hailstorm that's ruined orchards ready for harvest. is inspecting the damage A team of government assessors

which will run into millions and cause fruit prices to skyrocket in Sydney. It was supposed to be a bumper year for the growers of Australia's favourite apples. Years of drought had finally broken in Batlow but then this.

The massive hailstorm sliced tonnes of fruit from their trees.

Orchardist John Robson has never seen anything like it. His losses are more than $1 million. Yeah, this is certainly this is fairly hard to take, this sort of damage. You get a storm like this, then, it hits you pretty hard. All of these apples will now be turned to juice. The returns will be less than a quarter of what they'd normally fetch. It will take the trees two years to recover - all from a 20 minute hail storm. John's only just been able to bring himself to check out the full extent of the damage to his property. Apples are one of the most expensive and labour-intensive crops to produce and that makes this loss so much harder to take. It's just one of those things. I had to walk away from the place yesterday - I just couldn't look at it. But it's just one of those things we've gotta front up to. The apple harvest is only six weeks away. And with at least 30% of the crop lost be prepared to pay more at the grocery store. 50-odd staff here and they were all locals and so we have to cut back on all our packaging which we've been doing for the last three years anyway because of the effect of drought and frost anyway. Barack Obama is on track to become America's first black President after winning the Democrats vote in the Iowa primaries. Seven's Mike Amor is there. Mike, it's not the result Hillary Clinton was hoping for.

That's right, Chris, she came in

third behind millionaire and former

Vice-Presidentalcandidate John Edwards

Edwards but it's far from

Edwards but it's far from over for

Hillary, after all,

Hillary, after all, Bill Clinton

also lost here and still went on to

become president. The Republican

vote was even more decisive

vote was even more decisive with

Baptist breach er Mike Huckabee easily

easily winning. Everyone is talking about Obama. This is the man who, today

came a step closer to becoming America's first black President. We are one nation, we are one people and our time for change has come. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Barack Obama was chosen decisively by Democrat voters in one of America's whitest states. in history At this defining moment

you have done what the cynics said we couldn't do. The fervour surrounding his campaign is now being compared to President John F. Kennedy. CROWD CHANT: Obama! Obama! Thank you. When you start to appeal to young people and that kind of idealism and the change that he represents this is a very, very powerful instrument. Selection for the most powerful job in the world began in school halls, bowling alleys and even lounge rooms as Iowans cast their vote. Hillary Clinton would be disappointed with their decision - a distant third failing to even win over female voters. We are going to have change and that change will be

a Democratic president in the White House in 2009. But that might not be her unless Clinton can capture some of her husband's campaign magic. For the Republicans former Baptist minister Mike Huckabee proved enthusiasm and Chuck Norris can beat a massive campaign budget trouncing favourite, Mitt Romney. Tonight, we proved that American politics still is in the hands of ordinary folks like you.

Now, Chris, there's not a lot of

time for celebrating or soul

searching, the candidates learned searching, the candidates have

learned friend moved on to New

Hampshire where the next primary

vote will be held on Wednesday. It's

still a Long long to go until

November, Chris.

It's going to be a fascinating run

to the White House, this time

around, thank you, Mike. A boy from western Sydney who used to catch the steam train to the cricket has been honoured with a statue outside the SCG. A bronzed Richie Benaud was unveiled today

ensuring his great contribution to the game is never forgotten.

It's not often a crowd gathers to see the covers come off at the SCG. But this was a very special day. So it is with the greatest pleasure I announce that this is Richie Benaud. A bronze sculpture for the man with the velvet voice. Shirt unbuttoned, collar raised, ball in hand.

No cream jacket, but definitely Richie. First thing I want to say is that I like it.

It was 1940 when a 9-year-old Richie Benaud and his dad

caught a train from Penrith to watch his first game at the SCG. I saw Grimett get 6/118 and I went home and the next morning I was trying to bowl leg breaks up against a wall. Lucky for Australia, he did. Benaud played 63 Tests, 28 as captain and took 248 wickets. Australia never lost a series with Benaud at the helm. Heroes don't come much bigger. In the life of an artist, a commission of some significance,

some importance emerges one of those commissions. and for me, this is definitely

10 sculptures are planned. Four will be cricketers with two stars from rugby league, union and AFL.

But for now, Richie stands alone. You can find him behind the Ladies Stand. Perfect place, really. That is the spot where I always used to park my car. LAUGHTER. Marvellous. Ahead in Seven News - police raid Sydney homes over a series of armed hold-ups. Also, a window washer survives an extraordinary fall from a skyscraper. If you are a believer in miracles, this would be one. And is Nicole Kidman hiding a baby bump? A lot of people are going DIY now. Once they find out some more information from us, they find out it's not that hard to actually build your pergola or do your decking. Well, I've done it. So I know you can do it. Merbau decking - $3.98 per metre. Dulux Wash & Wear - $61.90. Plasterboard - $9.90 per sheet. If you happen to find a cheaper price on a stocked item, we'll beat it by 10%. Did that all myself. With my drill! Lowest prices are just the beginning. A teenager is one of two men charged over a series of armed robberies on Sydney pubs. Police in armour-plated cars carrying automatic weapons raided homes at Lidcombe and Granville. A 20-year-old was arrested at one address and an 18-year-old at the other. A third offender is still outstanding. We're now seeking assistance from the local community to come forward with any information through Crime Stoppers. The two men faced court today accused of using shotguns and machetes in the hold-ups. The State Opposition has indicated the Government should keep tolls from the M4 and M5 and not pay drivers back. The cashback scheme was a Bob Carr election promise to win seats around Parramatta and Penrith. More than $500 million has been returned since 1996 but the Liberal Party thinks it should've been kept. This is money that could have been better spent on road and public transport projects but it's going to continue to be spent because there's not another election for another three years. Around 200,000 Sydney drivers claim the cashback each year. Greenpeace fears more than 100 whales have been killed by the Japanese while Australia waits to intervene in the Southern Ocean hunt. The Federal Government promised to send a surveillance ship two weeks ago but tonight, it's still sitting in Fremantle Harbour. The 'Oceanic Viking' is supposed to be deep in the Southern Ocean. it's docked in Western Australia. Instead,

to make good on their promises We'd hope the government

and begin the surveillance as soon as possible. The Government promised to launch the Customs vessel to monitor Japanese whalers

more than two weeks ago. My understanding is it will leave from Fremantle and it will leave in the next few days. A plane operated by the Australian Antarctic Division was meant to join the 'Oceanic Viking' and it remains grounded. The Australian people have been mislead and the great whales of the Southern Ocean have been left unprotected.

Greenpeace has sent its own ship 'The Esperanza'

to search for the Japanese fleet. The group fears

more than 100 whales may have been slaughtered as the government stalls. In one month, they would take about 250 whales so, a little bit less than that - you can easily see that up to 150 whales could have been taken over the last three weeks. The Government has refused to be interviewed

about why it's taking so long but in a statement, said the 'Oceanic Viking's movements are an operational matter and are being kept secret for security reasons.

It's not exactly a secret when there's no movement. A chairlift collapse in Switzerland has killed a man and injured two Australians. About 100 people were high above the Grindelwald ski resort when a cable ran off its guide wheel on a support tower. A German tourist died

and several others suffered minor injuries when they fell 14m to the ground. Doctors say a window washer's survival is nothing short of a miracle after he fell 47 storeys from the roof of a New York skyscraper. Alcides Moreno is still in hospital a month after the plunge which his brother didn't survive. Today, doctors revealed he has movement in all limbs and is breathing without assistance. If you are a believer in miracles, this would be one. He keeps telling me that it just wasn't his time. His wife has banned him from returning to window washing. Astronomers have made one of their most significant discoveries - the youngest planet ever found. Given the catchy name of TW Hydrae B it's 10 million years old and was formed after dust particles combined with gases in the atmosphere. The nice thing about this is that it's really, really young and it does tell us that planets form relatively quickly. The new planet can't be seen from Earth - it's 180 light years away.

One star easy to spot today was Nicole Kidman. She was mobbed by the paparazzi after visiting the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Husband Keith Urban seemed very protective of a rumoured baby bump. in that pregnancy? REPORTER: Any rumours

Any truth in that pregnancy, Nicole? But the couple is keeping mum on the rumours. The owner of Diff, the dog stuck on a cliff could be fined. David Gibson has been threatened with a fine for taking his bull mastiff into a Queensland national park. But authorities say he won't be asked to reimburse them for the $10,000 rescue operation. I promise a sworn solemn oath to national parks never to take him back and I assure you it never will happen. He was on lead at all times. David says his 65kg best friend is recovering well. Sport with Jo Griggs and India threatening to spoil Australia's party. Chasing their 16th straight Test win but one man is standing in their way.

Coming up -

The Little Master drags India back into the second Test. COMMENTATOR: They're standing as one at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Also tonight, Lleyton Hewitt's Davis Cup payback. The SCG has again become 'Sachin's Cricket Ground' as the Little Master rocked Australia's bid for 16-straight Test victories on Day 3. Brett Lee took five wickets but Tendulkar's unbeaten 154 gave India an unlikely lead. Australia trail by 56 runs with two days to go. When these two run on looking this hungry that's bad news for any bowler. First, from a gung-ho Ganguly... Oh, he's hit that cleanly. COMMENTATOR: launched his assault. ..before Tendulkar Oh, wow. three from three innings for Hogg. Ganguly went once too often -

Ganguly, has he got him? Yes, he has got him. Yuvraj failed again... While Tendulkar passed 50, Big appeal, yes, and he's got him. ..with more to come from Lee. for a fellow 'keeper... A gift from Dhoni so he's got to 400. A catch goes to Gilchrist at last ..and another from Kumble. And that's another edge. but dropped Harbhajan. He could have had 402 No mistakes from Tendulkar - from the Little Master. another classic I hope lots of kids are watching that cover drive.

They'll regret ducking out the back missing a century to ever wield the willow. by one of the greatest at the Sydney Cricket Ground. They're standing as one way ahead of the rest. His 38th Test ton

I've ever heard. I think that's the best reception after his 50 - Not so for Harbhajan favourite Indian. definitely not the Aussies' He's been given the yellow card. build a 69-run lead. The Turbanator's 63 helped Tendulkar Solace for Hogg, he did this to Warnie too. 150 for Sachin Tendulkar. It convinced the PM to change teams. with his fifth wicket. Lee ended the Aussies' suffering Sachin Tendulkar, 154 not out. The openers survived till stumps. to continue the winning streak. They'll need something special Lleyton Hewitt looks set on the Australian Open title for a serious assault the quarterfinals after breezing into of the Adelaide International. Jose Acasuso 6-2, 6-2 Hewitt smashed Argentina's and says has re-invigorated his game. new coach Tony Roche and new coach watching on With his wife Bec Hewitt wound back the clock in the first set. as he made light work of Acasuso into the match in the second The Argentinian tried to get back but was unable to do so

as Hewitt wrapped things up in little over an hour.

The former world No.1 looked impressive, and says Roche has been the driving force

to the summer. behind his great start and working on something There's a reason we're out there I think. and that's been the biggest change, It was sweet revenge for Hewitt in a Davis Cup match in 2006. after he lost to Acasuso I owed him that tonight. It was good to do it like that. tonight. Hewitt plays Jo-Wilfred Tsonga struggled to a sluggish win Jelena Dokic against little known Evgenia Linetskaya

the Moorilla Hobart International. as she tries to qualify for but fought back to win in three. She lost the first set I was a little but rusty but I have to take it each day at a time.

Fernando Gonzalez and Marat Safin And Roger Federer, for the Australian Open have arrived in Melbourne which starts Monday week. Sydney FC are currently taking on Wellington in a game that could cement their spot in the A-League finals.

A win would leave Sydney needing just a draw from their final two matches to book a spot in the finals. It's been a dour first half -

with the best chance of the game. Brendon Santalab to the back post. COMMENTATOR: Now, the ball delivered from Glen Moss. Brendon Santalab pulls out a save against Queensland and Melbourne. Sydney's last two games are Chris, thank you so

Chris, thank you so much for putting

up with me for the last few weeks, I

now turn my attention to

now turn my attention to the

Medibank international

Australian Open. I hope Medibank international and the

Australian Open. I hope you can come

back again soon. The girl power was

great. Thank you,

great. Thank you, Jo. Checking finance now and the share market ended the week on a high. BHP Billiton added 75 cents and bullion prices. on the back of stronger metal

The ASX 200 gained 16 points. across parts of Sydney today. There were some scattered showers the weekend weather details We'll check next in Seven News. Entertainment Sale right now, Load up at Target's Epic DVD with DVDs from $6.99 You better get comfy. There's hundreds of titles to choose from. and lots of cloud over Sydney today A few sprinkles of rain this weekend. in a taste of what's to come in the city The temperature reached 26 degrees for this time of year. which is average The overnight low was 22. Right now, it's 24 degrees. It was a little warmer in the west - 27 in Liverpool and Richmond. 28 in Penrith, in the mountains. A maximum of 20 degrees Around the nation tomorrow - Showers and storms in Darwin. The city's on alert moving towards the coast. with Tropical Cyclone Helen Fine for the other capitals. Hot in Melbourne and Adelaide. Sydney's waters this weekend will be extremely dangerous

with a heavy 3-4m swell. has issued a warning Surf Lifesaving advising swimmers and surfers not to go in the water.

We're not really expecting beach weather anyway -

for Sydney tomorrow, cloudy with a few showers

decreasing in the afternoon. and just 17 in the mountains. 24 along the coast, 25 in the west

A shower or two on Sunday of the working week. and for the start to warm and humid conditions. The rain should clear by Thursday, And that's Seven News to now. I'm Chris Bath. Thanks for your company. Have a great weekend. Goodnight. He survived the torturous Japanese Prisoner Of War camps. Now, this 87-year-old war hero is under attack from Centrelink. Hello, I'm Samantha Armytage. Welcome to Today Tonight. How could a government department treat a war veteran like this? Also tonight, made in China just gets worse. Now thousands of these make-up kits have been sold as Christmas presents to children.

It's as nasty as you can get. Plus, here we go again - The National Australia Bank ups the mortgage rate. What caused it? And will the other banks follow? We have the answers. And Aussie mums doing it all -

raising children

and earning the income to keep the family going. This man has experienced more pain and suffering than most could ever imagine. His name is Sandy Johnstone. He barely survived World War II and was hoping his suffering had long ended. He was sadly mistaken. Sandy is fighting again Now, nearly 90,

but this time, it's our Federal Government which, with a multibillion-dollar budget is demanding $900 back of its poorest ex-prisoners of war. from one

Clare Brady reports with more. We don't deserve it - we suffered enough during the war. He doesn't talk much about his time in POW camps to me. They all had a bad time. For Sandy Johnstone the horrific memories of being held captive by the Japanese are raw. her father being haunted Each day his daughter Helena watches

by his experiences as a British prisoner of war. With grit and determination he survived 3.5 years, deprived of basics rights but propped up by fellow POWs, including our Australian diggers.

The mettle these men were made of is legendary - their tales told by filmakers and respected by generations. Alexander 'Sandy' Johnstone survived the living hell working on the Burma Railway its torments made famous by this film...

You will finish the bridge by the

12th day of May. Like many diggers, Sandy emerged weighing just 31 kilos. His doctors said his body was so depleted he'd be lucky to live another decade.