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Water, water everywhere - an

already soggy country faces even

more flooding rain across four

risen to three. states today. The death toll has

6:00am, December 9. Good morning,

everyone. I'm Ron Wilson.

And I'm Frank Coletta. Welcome to

morning: Ten's Early News. Also this

More WikiLeaks revelations - the

latest to be outed, Mark Arbib -

accused of being an American

insider in Canberra.

In sport - former NRL player Garth

Wood has silenced and stunned

Anthony Mundine with an upset

fifth-round knock-out in Sydney.

And time for change in the business

world - the Treasurer set to

release banking-competition reforms.

New figures show non-bank lenders

are doing pretty well.

Severe weather warnings are in

place across most of NSW today as

flood-ravaged communities brace for

more rain. The SES responded to

hundreds of calls throughout the

night in flood-stricken Wagga Wagga

as torrential rain and lightning

brought down trees. The noise that

it made - it just absolutely

crashed. We really thought that - I

thought the front roof would have

been damaged more, and I thought it

had gone through the front bedroom

window as well. Up to 100mm of rain

is expected to fall in parts of NSW over the next 48 hours.

The flood crisis has already

claimed three lives and racked up

millions of dollars in damage.

Farmers are also counting the cost Farmers are also counting the cost

as the rains destroy crops.

So close to Christmas, heartbreak

at every turn. Distraught friends

gathered near WAAPA Falls on the

Sunshine Coast after a teenage boy

jumped into a rock pool. He

resurfaced, but was dragged under.

Hopes are fading. I'd estimate that

the height that he's jumped from,

the rock ledge, was probably about

3m. The teenager believed to be one

of three who've died as a result of

heavy rains across the country. A

woman's body was found about 500m

from her abandoned car at Goonumbla

in NSW. Another man is also feared

drowned in waters at Nebo, near

Mackay. Police are still searching

after his vehicle was washed from a

crossing early yesterday morning. A

teenager suffered severe head

injuries when he fell from a cliff

at Tambourine on the Gold Coast. In

Victoria, violent storms and heavy

lightning strikes heralded more

rain. Cars crawled - those caught

in the open sought any cover they

could. It's Melbourne. What can you

say? Not much. Dark clouds rolled

in from the west, dumping 10mm in

just 10 minutes. Mildura had 50mm

in an hour.

It came in everywhere - roads

became rivers. More is yet to come.

And for more, we're joined by Ten

reporter James Wakelin, who's in

Victoria's flood zone at Wangaratta

this morning. James, what are the

major areas of concern to

authorities today? The major

concerns now lie in the state's

north-east. The rain did come

through yesterday from the west,

dumping, as you heard in Leonie's

story, 50mm in absolutely no time

in Mildura. I think there was 60mm

in towns like Seymour in 20 minutes,

and of course it hit the city. But

the big concern is, as those storms

have moved across the state,

they've hit the alpine areas.

They're now starting to hit smaller

towns - we're seeing major flood

warnings for the King Rirb, Castle

River. We don't know where they're

going to peak. That's a great

concern at the moment for emergency

workers. It's just where the river

systems will peak in north-eastern

Victoria. James, we've got several

inches of rain forecast across NSW

and Queensland over the next couple

of days. Are you aware of what the

forecast is across Victoria? Look,

they are predicting more rain,

particularly to the east of

Victoria at the moment. Exactly -

the radar is showing us that's not

heavy rain we've seen over the last

24 hours. The problem is, we've had

100mm fall until last night in

alpine areas. That will take some

time for that water to run down

into more major towns - Wangaratta

on this side of the range and then

on the other side towards Bright

and towards Lakes Entrance. We just

don't know exactly what it'll do

you. for those kind of townships. Thank

We'll have more on the flood

coverage during this news hour.

Federal Labor minister and

powerbroker Mark Arbib is the

latest high-profile politician to

be outed by WikiLeaks. Today's

Fairfax newspaper say leaked cables

reveal Mr Arbib was America's

insider in Canberra for years. It

says Mr Arbib provided the US

Government with inside information Government with inside information

and commentary on the workings of

the Government and the ALP. It

describes him as a valued,

confidential contact for the US.

Meanwhile, Kevin Rudd has brushed

aside the nasty thing said about

him by US diplomats when he was

prime minister. The US cables

revealed in a batch of WikiLeaks documents released this week

described Mr Rudd as an abracive

and compulsive control freak

obsessed with the media cycle. To

me, this is water off a duck's back.

I could not care less. The Foreign

Minister says he makes no apology

for his style and insists the

comments are part of the are rough

and tumble of itplomacy.

Prominent Perth barrister Lloyd

Rayney will face court today. His a

wife's body, Corryn, was found nine

days after she reported missing in days after she reported missing in

2007. Rayney's Como home was

searched by police yesterday. He

strongly maintains he played no

part in his wife's death and has

sued West Australian police.

Four Hong Kong politicians have to

fight an angry China and will

attend Friday's Nobel Peace Prize

ceremony in Norway. The politicians

say they'll show their support for

imprisoned activist and writer Liu

Xiaobo by holding a rally outside

the Chinese Embassy in Oslo before

ther say mony. China has been pressuring and threatening

countries not to attend. Liu is

serving 11 years. His wife is under

house arrest, and up to 200 suspected dissidents have been

banned from leaving China.

A blanket of unseasonal snow has

turned Paris into a winter

wonderland. France has miss much of

the recent snowstorms across the UK

and northern Europe, but the snow

today forced the closure of the

Eiffel tower and brought the

usually chaotic Paris traffic to a

standstill. Further south, it was a

case of "What snow?" While the

north shivered, temperatures in the

Riviera remained at an unseize nabl

warm 20 all day.

For once, Anthony Mundine had

little to say after being knocked

out at the hands of former NRL

player Garth Wood. In a scrappy

encounter, Wood, the rank underdog,

connect would a left hook in the

fifth round, dropping Mundine to the canvas.

I don't think he's gonna get up.

What can I say? I'm the best-kept

secret. Youse are all aware of me

now. Probably deserved it. That's

about it. It was Mundine's first

loss in five years and 17 fights.

Inevitably when the Australian

cricket team is struggling, calls

for a come back from Shane Warne

grow louder. A Brisbane fan has started a website,

bringbackWarne.com, calling on

Aussies to dip into their pockets

to entice the spinner back into the baggy green. (LAUGHS)

Well, I don't know. I've heard

about some of the figures he urpbz.

They might need to get some more

contributions together. We might

have to dig very deep! Warne says

he's flattered by the offer but

would like to see West Australian

Michael Bier debut in Perth.

Former Test cricket captain Steve

Waugh has echoed calls for a change

for the third Ashes Test in Perth.

He believes the time has come for

selectors, who meet today, to pick

and stick with youth.

With Australia's Ashes hopes going

up in smoke, Steve Waugh has

stepped in to hand Australia's

selectors some words of advice. I think right now they've probably

got to look a bit towards the

future and stick with some guys,

and go with those guys even if they

don't have success straight away.

Selectors will meet today before announcing the squad tomorrow.

Marcus North and Xavier Doherty

under the most pressure to retain

their spots for the Perth Test.

Yeah, it's obviously disappointing.

But we've got to try and have a

couple of days off, then pick

ourselves up pretty quickly, yeah?

Fresh from victory in Adelaide,

England arrived in Melbourne. Jimmy

Anderson has flown home for the

birth of his child but will be time

-- will be back in time for Perth.

Their families lives and children -

obviously they come above cricket.

He should be back, and in working

order, for the third Test.

Time for all the morning's finance

news now with Frank Coletta. It was

much ado about nothing a month ago.

What happened to regulations for the banks?

Treasurer Wayne Swan is due to

release much-anticipated banking

reforms any day now. New data shows

that non-bank lenders are going

along nicely, thank you. Mr Swan

keeping tight-lipped, saying his

reforms will make it easier for customers to shop around for customers to shop around for better

deals. New figures out yesterday

showed non-bank lenders saw a 12%

rise in the number of loans they

issued in October compared to the

month before. That is the largest

monthly growth since May of 2002, monthly growth since May of 2002,

and easily outstripped the 0.4%

rise for the big four banks.

All eyes will be on the latest

unemployment figures which are due

out today. Economists expect the

jobless rate to fall to 5.2% after

that unexpected jump to 5.4% in

October. It's expected the number

of jobs created last month to have

gone by up to 20,000. The Federal

Government's leading employment

index rose for an eighth straight

month, which means the Government

expects unemployment to fall to

4.75% by the middle of next year.

The dreaded National Australia Bank

computer glitch has struck again.

Customers started noticing

something wrong at about 3:00pm

yesterday when they couldn't get

the to internet banking, take any

money out of ATMs, or pay their money out of ATMs, or pay their

bills by EFTPOS. The bank says the

fault was located and the system

back up and running within the hour.

The NAB insists the problem was not

related to the fault two weeks ago

which saw thousands of customers

unable to access any funds.

It's been a fairly quiet night on

Wall Street, but analysts expect a

rally before the end of this year.

The Dow Jones has shed:

Indonesian authorities have stopped

a big boatload of Iranian, Iraqi,

Somali and Afghani asylum seekers

on their way to Australia.

And look who's catching up to Apple - the smartphone business is

getting tougher. We'll tell you all

about it when Ten's Early News returns. (FRENETIC MUSIC) WOMAN: For simple credit solutions, online or instore:

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Headlines every 15 minutes on Ten's Early News:

The SES has responded to hundreds

of calls overnight in flood-ravaged

parts of NSW. Ten's Amanda Hart is

in Wagga Wagga, where residents are

bracing for even more rain. Amanda

is joining us now live. Amanda,

we're seeing pictures throughout

the night coming in from Wagga

Wagga - people with tears of

despair. How are people coping

generally? Ron, everyone here is

still on very high alert after this

series of severe storms swept

through the region, and more

predicted storms are on the way.

About 85mm was dumped on the town, About 85mm was dumped on the town,

causing flash flooding in a number

of parks parts. It closed roads,

brought down trees on, cars and on

houses. In a nearby town, a number

of people were evacuated from their

homes. The residents we spoke to in

Wagga late last night say they felt

scared. Others were saying it was

some of the loudest and strongest

storms they've ever been through.

The SES resources are are stretched.

Even they say they've never seen a

summer flood event like this in

about 150 years. Frightening times.

The question probably is, can it

get any worse? Well, it's expected

to get worse than it is now, that's

for sure. A severe weather warning

is still current for the Riverina

district. The Murrumbidgee River

was slowly falling - Wagga is

expected to receive anywhere up to

100mm of rain today. Depending on

how much falls, more flash flooding

is likely. Another concern is how

much falls upstream in catchment areas - meaning when the

floodwaters arrive here, it could

break the levee banks, inundating

homes. The weather is likely to see

a number of suburbs cut off. Who

knows how long for.

Amanda, thanks very much. Amanda

Hart reporting for us live from Wagga Wagga.

Flood warnings have been issued for

Queensland for today as the same

system lashes NSW moving north. The

state can expect more heavy rain

and gale-force winds continuing

until the weekend. Queensland has

already racked up a 161 million-

dollar flood-damages bill. That

figure is expected to rise even further. Meather.

Meanwhile, the clean-up from

yesterday's blast of wild weather

continues across South Australia.

Residents north of Adelaide were

evacuated when up to 1m of water drenched properties.

South Australia's wettest-ever

December day - also one of its most

destructive in. In Stockport in the

mid-north, river banks broke, water

tearing through bitumen and into

homes. I've either got to laugh

about it or I'll break down and cry.

Locals fled to higher ground to

watch their town go under. Three

weeks out from Christmas,

townspeople have lost everything.

Just devastated, mate. Just

devastated. The thing that hurts me

the most - the kids' bedroom, you

know? I can handle the rest of it.

Don't know. We'll work something

out somehow. As the river slowly

subsides, the reality of the clean-

up is evident, and emotions are

running high. Surely I could have

been notified and said "Don't

bother sandbagging. Clear your

stuff out." My kids would still

have their toys. The river rose 6m,

creating powerful rapids. In a town

of 68, 15 homes suffered major

damage. Emergency clothes, food and

accompidation is being organised.

Health risks are emerging from septic overflow in the floodwaters.

In Mannum, north-east of Adelaide,

torrents of water destroyed roads.

Entire sections of concrete lifted

and washed away. In some areas,

it's as if roads never existed.

Kevin Rudd says he doesn't give a

damn about leaked US diplomatic

cables which branded him a control

freak. In fact, the Foreign

Minister and US ambassador have had

a laugh together to prove the leaks

have done no damage to our relations.

When your closest ally is digging

up your worst personal traits and

WikiLeaks is tossing it out for the

world to know, sometimes the best

comeback is to poke a little fun at

yourself. It's all water off a

duck's back, mate. Quack, quack, quack. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

You obviously haven't yet read the

still highly classified cable which

described me as the best-dressed

Foreign Minister in the world.

That's so classified, it's only for

Hillary's eyes. Even the current US

ambassador was in on the act. We're

good mates. You've probably seen us

walking around the lake together,

having a little bromance. He's a

very good person. I like working

with him. His predecessors were far

less comcomplimentary. Cables from

the Embassy to the US

Administration dating back to 2008

painted Kevin Rudd's Prime Minister as:

The stinging criticisms will come

as no surprise to Mr Rudd's Labor

colleagues. It was these same

perceived flaws which were key

reasons he was dumped as prime

minister by his own party. The

former prime minister's style is a

problem. You didn't need the

release of confidential information to know that.

77 illegal immigrants from Iran,

Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan have

been locked up in Indonesia after

their boat was intercept on its way

to Australia. The group was picked

up by Indonesian police after the

boat they were on experienced

engine failure off Surabaya. They

drifted for eight hours before

being rescued and taken to a nearby island for questioning.

Sydney police say they've smashed

six major crime syndicates,

arrested more than 30 people, and

seized drug worth $10 million. They

conducted raids on 37 properties

yesterday, and seized drugs, luxury

cars, guns, and even a helicopter.

Detectives say some of the people

ratesed had considered -- arrested

had considered themselves

untouchable. More than 200 charges

were laid against the group over

the manufacture and distribution of

drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines and LSD.

The father of slain underworld

figure Carl Williams is expected to

give evidence against his son's

accused murderer today. George

Williams will be the first witness

to take the stand at the pre-trial

hearing of Matthew Johnson. Carl

Williams was facing decades behind

bars when Johnson allegedly beat

him to death in him to death in a maximum-security

unit of Barwon pris. Carl's ex-wife

Roberta is also expected to give

evidence via videolink during the hearing.

A fire has killed 81 people at a

prison in Chile. The blaze was lit

during a riot by inmates overnight.

It took three hours to bring under

control. There are reports guards

locked down the prison, leaving

firefighters unable to get to the

fire. The prison houses almost

2,000 prisoners, 1,000 more than it was designed to hold.

Thinking about a peaceful cruise to

the Antarctic this Christmas? Look

at this and you might think again.

The US ship 'Clelia II', with 100

passengers and 60 crew members

onboard, declared an emergency when

it had mechanical problems near the

Shetland islands. The ship is now

limping to its scheduled port,

escorted by the Argentinean navy.

Those onboard are reported to be shaken and stirred.

Nathan Hauritz has done his hopes

of a call-up for the third Ashes

Test in Perth no harm after

breaking through for his maiden

Sheffield Shield century. Hauritz's

unbeaten innings of 126 helped NSW

fight back against South Australia

on Day 2 of their match at the SCG.

At the end of the day, the

selectors are gonna look at what

options they've got. But as long as

I'm putting performances on the

board, that's all I can do, and

concentrate on that from there.

Also, in Hauritz's favour, he took

five wickets at the WACA last week.

The Melbourne Hart has continued

its slide down the A-League ladder

after an incredible first half from

Newcastle. Despite losing Jobe

Wheelhouse in the eighth minute, a

pair of Clint Bolton clangers had

the visitors up 2-010 minutes later.

2-0 just 10 minutes later. the visitors up 2-010 minutes later. 2-0 just 10 minutes later. A Very

smart finish from Marko Jesic! And

Clint Bolton is having a night to

forget! And the Hart couldn't hit

back - they've now gone 500 minutes of play of play without a goal.

Things have been a bit quiet on

Wall Street this morning as

investors all waited for someone

else to make the first move. James

Rosenberg is about to make a move from Macquarie Private Wealth.

He'll tell us all about it. Not

much economic news to drive the

market. Every waiting to see what

happens with the next tax deal,

perhaps, in the US. Perhaps that's

the case, Frank. With most things,

there's a various of opinion - with

tax cuts an extension of the cuts

put in place by George Bush II,

there is a hope that people will

spend more money, and that will end

up stimulating jobs. The other side

of the coin, of course, is that

when you've got a government with

very, very high deficits, having

more tax cuts without an offset in

spending is only going to increase

the pressure on the government

balance sheet. We've seen US yields

rise a little bit. That's only

going to cost the government more

to repay their debt. As you hinted

at, Wall Street is being

uncharacteristic and sitting on the

fence. The Australian market also

had a flat preview session. What's

in store for today? Excitement

perhaps? I hope so. I don't know

we're getting a lot of exciting

leads from offshore. The key focus

will be on unemployment figures. will be on unemployment figures.

It's been a phenomenal year in

employment in this country. It did

moderate a bit last month. That will probably continue. Higher

Australian dollar is affecting

industries like tourism and retail.

And also, higher interest rates

affecting housing construction. So

that moderation will continue. I

don'toy know that it will have a

lot of effect on either the market

or the outlook for interest rates

in the near-term. Thank you for

that. James Rosenberg from

Macquarie Private Wealth.

Samsung has forced a big profit

increase this year because of a

boom in sales of the company's

smartphones. Margins of the world's

second-biggest phone manufacturer

rose 10% in the last quarter.

Samsung is quickly catching rivals

Apple and Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry.

The latest on those floods - next,

we'll talk to the SES.

And the love Bank claims that,

after a 20-year spending spree, Australians have finally started to

save them. Don't believe them? We

have the details when Ten's Early

News returns.

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You're watching Ten's Early News.

Our main stories this morning:

Don't forget your brolly and

gumboots. An already soggy country

faces more flooding rain across

four states today.

More WikiLeaks are revelations -

the latest to be outed, Federal

Government minister Mark Arbib,

accused of being an American

insider in Canberra.

In sport - former NRL player Garth

Wood has silenced and stunned

Anthony Mundine with an upset 5th- round knock-out in Sydney.

And then in finance - the treasure

are set to release banking

competition are reforms, but non-

bank lenders are doing big business anyway.

Severe weather warnings are in

place across most of NSW as flood-

ravaged communities brace for even

more rain. The. SES and responded

to hundreds of calls in flood-

stricken Wagga Wagga as torrential

rain and lightning bro brought down

trees. The noise it made, it absolutely crashedt made, it

absolutely crashed. I thought the

front roof would have been damaged

more, and I thought it had gone

through the front bedroom wiptdo as

well. Up to 100mm of rain is

expected to fall in parts of NSW

over the next 48 hours.

For the latest on the floods, I'm

joined now by deputy commissioner

Dieta Gesky from the NSW State

Emergency Service. Your guys must

have been run off their feet

overnight. Good morning. They were.

It was a particularly busy night,

particularly in the early hours of

the morning. As your story talked

about Wagga, the pumping facilities

the council and SES put into place

last night and yesterday were put

to good effect - this is one of the

ironies and paradoxes of this flood,

where we have water outside the

levee, then a storm pass over the

towns and water then starts to pool

inside the levees itself - not from

overtopping, but from the actual

thunderstorm itself. There was a

lot of rain, a lot of work done

last night, and of course then the

storm damage on top of that just storm damage on top of that just

adds a bit more misery to the poor

folks of Wagga. Just outside of

Wagga at Cutter, we had 85mm

recorded. That's a serious amount

of rain for the local creekalise to

there to -- creeks there to swell

them up. Eight people were them up. Eight people were

evacuated, and a flood rescue has

been conducted by police on it Hume

Highway. We thank them for their

support in this activity. They've

been doing a great job helping

esrescue and advise people. It's

been one of those nights where once

again our message for people is

don't drive, walk or ride through

floodwaters - it's so dangerous.

We've had 96 flood rescues in this

event. Are places like Wagga going

to hold? There's more rain coming

through to the weekend. The

engineering inspections we've had

on levees across NSW in the towns

where we have had concerns have

been promising. And they've

confirmed our design heights and

failure heights. At this stage, we are pretty confident that levees

will hold. There's more rain to

come. We have to wait and see what

effect that will have. There's

currently a moment in Queanbeyan -

we've got a lot of rain falling in

the bulong low river catchment. The

Captains Flat Dam had gone to amber

alert this morning. There was water

flowing through the town of

Captains Flat. Later at about 11:00,

the bureau is forecasting a peak of

around 8.2m. In Queanbeyan,

equivocal tonight the 1976 flood.

So there's some serious flooding

ahead of us yet. OK. Thank you very

much. We had your central emergency

number up there - 132 500 for anyone needing help.

The flood crisis has already

claimed three lives and racked up

millions of dollars in damage.

Farmers are also counting the cost

as the rains destroy crops.

So close to Christmas, heartbreak

at every turn. Distraught friends

gathered near WAAPA falls on the

Sunshine Coast after a teenage boy

jumped into a rock ful. He was are

resurfaced, but dragged under.

Hopes are fading. I'd estimate that

the height he jumped from, the rock

ledge was probably about 3m. The

teenager believed to be one of

three who've died as a result of

heavy rains across the country. A

woman's body was found about 500m

from her abandoned car at Goonumbla

in NSW. Another man also is feared

drowned in waters at Nebo near

Mackay. Police are still searching

after his vehicle was washed from a

crossing early yesterday morning. A

teenager suffered severe head

injuries when he fell from a cliff

at Tambourine on the Gold Coast. In

Victoria, violent storms and heavy

lightning strikes heralded more

rain. Cars crawled, those caught in

the open sought any cover they

could. It's Melbourne. What can you

say? Not much. Dark clouds rolled

in from the west, dumping 10mm in

just 10 minutes. Mildura had 50mm

in an hour.

It came in everywhere. Road became

rivers. More is yet to come.

Federal Labor minister and

powerbroker Mark Arbib is the

latest high-profile politician to

be outed by WikiLeaks. For more,

we're joined in Canberra by nutaxa

Exelby. Exactly what do the

WikiLeaks reveal? Good morning, Ron.

NSW senator Mark Arbib and one of

the chief architects of Kevin

Rudd's spectacular fall from grace

is alleged to have been giving

secret information to the United

States. The cables allege that Mr

Arbib reported to the US Embassy in

Canberra about confidential

workings within the it Labor Party.

One of the examples given was that

Kevin Rudd was putting feelers out

to see other possible leaders

within the Labor Party because he

saw Julia Gillard as a major threat.

This certainly doesn't come as a

surprise to us political junkies in

Canberra, but it's more the

principle of the matter that

someone has been telling the US

secret, confidencal information.

Tash, if Kevin Rudd says one more

time that he doesn't care what they

said about him, I really won't

believe him. They've said some

nasty things, haven't they? They

have said some nasty things. The

perception he is putting out there

is that he really doesn't care.

This is his key message, Ron. For

me, this is all just water off a

duck's back. I could not care less.

The US Embassy came out yesterday

and vigorously defended Kevin Rudd

and said that their reilationship

is so close, it's almost like a

"bromance." Plenty of speculation

over whether the US Embassy did

that of their own bat, or whether

Kevin Rudd did some pushing to tell

them out there. Maybe we'll find

out the real scenario in the next

round of WikiLeaks, Ron. Good on

you, Tash. Well done. Our Canberra correspondent nutash Exelby very

alive this morning.

The Federal Government's national

schools curriculum won't take place

until at least 2013, two years

later than planned. Labor wanted

the harmonised syllabus ready for

next year. School Education

Minister Peter Garrett admits the

implementation will happen more

slowly. Let's be very clear about

it. Today, education ministers have

kicked a big goal for students

Australia-wide, because they now

have an Australian curriculum.

Teachers and some states wanted the

slower roll-out to allow them more

time to prepare for the changes.

Prominent Perth barrister Lloyd

Rayney will face court this morning,

charged with murder. He was

arrested yesterday and formally

accused of killing his wife Corryn.

Her body was found in a shallow

bush grave in August of 2007, nine

days after she was reported missing.

Rayney's Como home was searched by

police yesterday. He's strongly

maintained he played no part in his

wife's death, and has sued Western Australian police.

The man got mall - for once,

Anthony Mundine had little to say

aafter being knock out at the hands

of former NRL player Garth Wood. In

a scrappy encounter, Wood, the rank

underdog, connect would a left hook

in the fifth round, dropping

Mundine to the canvas. He's out. I

don't think he's gonna get up! What

can I say? I'm the best-kept secret.

Youse are all aware of me now.

Probably deserves it. That's about

it. Well, it was Mundine's first

loss in five years and 17 fights.

Inevitably when the Australian

cricket team is struggling, calls

for a comeback from Shane Warne

grow louder. A Brisbane fan has

started a website

BringBackWarne.com, calling on

Aussies to dip into their pocket to

inspire the spinner to put on the baggy green. (LAUGHS)

I've heard about some of the figure

he earns. They might need to get

some more contributions together.

Yes, please.

Warne says he's flattered by the

offer but would like to see West

Australian Michael Beer debut in Perth.

More on finance now with Frank

Coletta. What's the latest on those banking regulations? Just around

the corner, we're being told, Ron.

Treasurer Wayne Swan is due to

release his much-anticipated

banking competition reforms any day

now. New data shows that non-bank

lenders are are already going along

quite nicely, thank you. Mr Swan is

keeping tight-lipped about his

plans, saying only that his reforms

will make it easier for customers

to shop around for better deals.

New figures which have just come

out show that non-bank lenders saw

a 12% rise in the number of loans

they issued in October, compared to

the month before. That is the

largest monthly growth since May of

2002. Easily outstripping the 0.4%

rise for the big four banks.

All eyes will be on the latest

unemployment figures which are due

out today. Economists expect the

jobless rate to fall to 5.2% after

that unexpected jump to 5.4% in

October. It's expected the number

of jobs created last month to have

gone up by 20,000. The Federal

Government's leading employment

index rose for an eighth straight

month, which means the Government

expects unemployment to fall to

4.75% by the middle of next year.

The Reserve Bank says a recent move

by many Australians to save their

mun a rather than spend it could

actually help keep inflation down.

RBA assistant governor Philip Lowe

told a business conference it was

hard to work out if the trend to

saving was here to stay.

Australians have been borrowing and

spending like crazy, apparently,

for 20 years. But Mr Lowe said the

restraint could are reduce

inflationary pressure during the

current period of high investment.

Analysts say it might have

something to do with a series of interest-rate hikes.

It's been a fairly quiet night on

Wall Street. Analysts expect a

rally before the end of this year.

Still ahead - revelling in all that

royal treatment - next, we'll tell

you where Her Majesty, Oprah, will

visit today.

A final check of the overseas

markets before we open for business when Ten's Early News continues. LOCAL HEADLINES... The Opposition's attempts for the details of a review into bullying complaints at Canberra Hospital's maternity unit to be released, have failed. The Opposition tried to have the findings tabled in the Legislative Assembly.. But the Government and the Greens say releasing the information, may jeopordise confidentiality.

The A-C-T Government has announced new goals to boost commercial waste recycling. The Government is calling for the community's views

on a new strategy which aims for a decrease in waste to landfill by increasing recovery rates to over 80 per cent by 20-15. Environment Minister, Simon Corbell says the targets will allow the A-C-T to build upon its leadership position across Australia in the area of waste recovery. Canberrans are being urged to check their pools for problems this weekend, in a bid to prevent possible drownings. The Royal Life Saving 20-10 National Drowning Report showed that 33 young children aged under five

years, drowned in preventable tragedies last year. With research showing that up to eighty per cent of home pools don't comply with current safety standards. And,

Motorists are bracing for the inevitable rise in fuel prices over the Christmas holiday period. The price of petrol in Singapore, which is the benchmark for Aussie prices, has risen seven cents in the past week, and will have a flow on affect. Currently, drivers in Goulburn are paying one dollar 21 a litre, while in Queanbeyan they're forking out a dollar twenty nine. TO SPORT, And racing returns to Thoroughbred Park on Sunday... But the day is a special one for Jack Hodge,

who has recently undergone a bone marrow transplant. The day will help raise money for the Jack Hodge Trust and the Australian Bone Marrow Registry. Sales & Marketing Manager Bryony Young says people can come and enjoy an sunny afternoon at the races and purchase a santa hat with proceeds going to the Trust. LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE WEATHER DETAILS... Cloud is spreading across central NSW in a broad

trough, generating widespread showers and thunderstorms, some potentially severe

Around the country: Storms and rain in Canberra 23. 29 in Sydney. Showers in Brisbane and Melbourne. Looking locally: Storms and rain in Dubbo 27 the top. Same in Wagga. One less in Wollongong. Wet and stormy in Bathurst 25. Same for Goulburn. Similar conditions in Bateman's Bay. Rain and storms in Mudgee, 27 the top.. Similar conditions in Cooma.. Chasing 26 degrees in Parkes. Looking ahead: Showers in Canberra tomorrow, 24 the top. Early

This program is captioned live.

Headlines on the quarter-hour on

Ten's Early News.

The SES has responded to hundreds

of calls overnight in flood-ravaged

parts of NSW. Ten's Amanda Hart sin

Wagga Wagga, where residents are

bracing are for even more rain.

With hundreds of rescues overnight,

what is the mood like in the town?

Ron, there's a mixture of anguish, Ron, there's a mixture of anguish,

despair and fear. There's also a

level of hope out there too.

Everyone is still on high alert

after a series of severe storm

fronts swept through the region.

More predicted storms are on the

way. About 85mm has dump odon the

town, causing flash flooding,

bringing down Trihass on cars and

houses. Residents we spoke tine

Wagga last night said they felt

scared. Others said it was some of

the loudest and strongest storms they've ever been through. The

problem is it's all going to get

worse yet! Yeah, that's right. With

severe weather warnings still

current for the region, there are

fears we could see more flash

flooding and the inundation of

homes. The Murrumbidgee River was

slowly falling, but Wagga is

expected to receive 100mm of rain

today, so it could be on the way up today, so it could be on the way up

again. The other concern is how

much falls upstream in catchment

areas, meaning when the floodwaters

do arrive here, it could break the

levee banks, again affecting homes.

The town is bracing itself. Thank you.

Flood warnings have also been

issued in Queensland for today, as

the same system lashing NSW moves the same system lashing NSW moves

north. The state can expect more

heavy rain and gale-force winds,

continuing into the weekend.

Queensland has already racked up a

161 million-dollar flood damage

bill, and that figure is expected to rise.

Meanwhile, the clean-up from

yesterday's blast of wild weather continues across South Australia.

Residents north of Adelaide were

evacuated when up to 1m of water drenched properties.

South Australia's wettest-ever

December day - also one of its most

destructive. In Stockport in the

state's mid-north, are river bank

broke, surges of water tearing

through bitumen and into homes. I'm

looking at it like I've either got

to laugh about it, or I'll break

down and cry. With no warning,

locals fled to high ground to watch

their town go under. Three weeks

out from Christmas, townspeople

have lost everything. Just

devastated, mate. Just devastated.

The thing that hurts me the most -

the kids' bedrooms, you know? I can

handle the are rest of it and -

don't know. Work something out

somehow. As the river slowly

subsides, the reality of the clean-

up is evident, and emotions are run

areing high. Surely I could have

been notified and said "Don't bother sandbagging. Your house is

going under. Clear your stuff out."

And my kids would still have their

toy. The river rose 6m, creating

powerful rapids. In a town of 68,

15 homes suffered major damage.

Emergency clothes, food and

accommodation is being organised.

Health risks are are emerging from

septic overflow in the floodwaters.

In Mannum, north-east of Adelaide,

torrents of water lashed homes and

destroyed roads. Entire sections of

concrete lifted and washed away. In

some areas, it's as if roads never existed.

A stkwun-year-old man is recovering

in hospital after a dramatic rescue

from floodwaters in -- a 51-year-

old man. In Victoria. James Wakelin

joins us. This bloke is lucky he's

not the fourth death in the floodwaters. That's right, Ron.

Very frustrating to police when

these type of things happen. We're

being told is he attempted to walk being told is he attempted to walk

home through some of these

floodwaters, obviously got caught

up, and ended up 100m downstream up, and ended up 100m downstream

from where he started. He grabbed

hold of a tree, and was notified by

police from friends, who rescued

the man. What are the fears for

floods in Victoria today? The great

fear is that more rape will fall in

the state's east. With the deluge

over the past 24 hours or -- --

more rain will fall in the state's

east. With the deluge in the past

24 hours - 60mm in some examples -

there's a lot of rain falling on

the alpine areas overnight. The

great concern is that flooding will

go into the river systems. There's

major warnings on the Kings and

Ovens which run into Wangaratta. At

this stage, emergency services just

don't know exactly what damage that

could do. Mm. James Wakelin

reporting live from Wangaratta, thank you.

Police on the Gold Coast have

arrested a man over one of four

shootings in the area this week.

The man was charged overnight with

a road-rage attack on the M1. He

allegedly fired a gun at the

occupants of another car on

Saturday night. Three other

shootings, including one which

seriously injured a father of three, remain unsolved.

Federal Labor miner and and

powerbroker Mark Arbib is the

latest high-profile politician to

be outed by WikiLeaks. Today's

Fairfax newspapers say leaked

cables are reveal Mr Arbib was

America's insider in Canberra for

years. It says Mr Arbib provided years. It says Mr Arbib provided

the US Government with inside

information and commentary on the

workings of the government and the

ALP. It describes him as a valued,

confidential contact for the US.

Oprah and some of her fans head off

to the Red Centre today. The talk-

show queen and her best friend Gail

got up close and personal with some

koalas on Hamilton Island on her

first day in Australia. Her stay on

the island will be short-lived.

Originally, viewers were gonna be

there and I wasn't gonna be there

because I was gonna spend one more

day here. Now I get six hours in

bed, then I'll go to Uluru. Huh?

Oprah's audience spread out around

the country. One group took a

seaman To the NSW Hunter Valley. --

seaplane. Oprah will hold her only

public appearance in Australia at a

public reception in Melbourne.

Nathan Hauritz has improved his

chances of a call-up for the Perth

Test after breaking through for a

maiden Sheffield Shield century.

Hauritz's unbeaten innings of 126

helped NSW fight back against South

Australia on Day 2 of their match

at the SCG. At the end of the day,

the selectors are are gonna look at

what options they've got. But as

long as I'm putting performances on

the board, that's all I can do, and

concentrate on that from there.

Also in Hauritz's favour, he took

five wickets at the WACA last week.

The Melbourne Hart has continued

its its slide down the A-League

ladder after an ince credible first half from

half from Newcastle. Despite losing

Jobe Wheelhouse after the eighth

minute to a red card, Clint Bolton

clangers clinched the game. That is

a very smart finish from Marko

Jesic, and Clint Bolton is having a

night to forget. The Hart couldn't

hit back. They've now gone 500

minutes of play without a goal.

St Kilda great Robert Harvey says

those writing off theen and saints

as a spent force do so at their own

peril. Back at the club as an

assistant coach, Harvey says the

playing group has the mental

strength to end the club's

premiership drought. They're a really tough premiership drought. They're a

really tough group. I think the

hardest part is getting going again.

Now the boys are going again,

they're playing out the cobwebs

from a bit of disappointment. And

Richmond has unveiled its new

recruit - Bakar Houlie and Brad

Miller enjoyed their first day as

Tigers after being picked up in the

pre-season draft.

Things have been quiet on Wall

Street as investors waited for

someone else to make the first move,

as we near the close, let's get the

details from James Rosenberg at

Macquarie Private Wealth. James,

not much economic news to drive the

market - everyone waiting to see

what happens with the next tax deal,

perhaps, in the US? That's exactly

right. The Obama Administration

have announced extension to the

Bush tax cuts. There's very much

two schools of thought. One is that

it will stimulate spending -

hopefully that will have a positive

effect on the massive unemployment

that still lingers in the US. On

the other hand, of course, the US

balance sheet is very, very

stretched, and by removing some of

their revenue without an offsetting

cost cut, is going to have a

significant impact on their overall

debt, and their ability to

eventually pay it all back. The

Australian market was quite flat.

What's in store for today? Well, a couple of things. The employment

numbers will be a key focus.

Combination of higher currency and

interest rates have knocked around

a few sectors, such as tourism,

retail, housing construction. And

that may mean that employment in

those sectors have moderated a

little. The other focus, of course,

will be very interesting - the Ten

-- AGM where there's been changes,

and focus on shows of much success,

such as 'MasterChef' and of course

Ten's Early News. You can come

back! Thank you, James Rosenberg

from Macquarie Private Wealth.

That's all in the business world

this morning, Ron. Thank you, Frank.

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

Ron Wilson. I'll see you again for

our next bulletin at 9:00am.

And I'm Frank Coletta. Have a great