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(generated from captions) It's cruel. and I agree with you - I know you're all about Brooke but this is no way to go about it. you two totally belong together - Damn it, what are you up to? Kiddo, my life has been ripped apart. and my dignity. I lost my wife, my son Well, tonight, out on that stage, I'm taking control again. One way or the other,

one sister or the other, I'm moving on. My new life begins tonight. AUDIENCE APPLAUDS www.auscap.com.au the Australian Caption Centre Supertext Captions by

This program is captioned live. of a stellar swimming career. Tonight - the end that has been difficult. It's a decision to follow the status quo, It would have been easier there are things in my life but I realise that are more important to me. Australia's greatest Olympian? So what now for Ian Thorpe, and Deborah Knight. Ten News with Ron Wilson Good evening. the Blue Mountains bushfire threat - Also tonight, edging closer to homes. the flames jump containment lines, And back with a bang - runs into trouble again. yachtsman Tony Bullimore But first this evening - at just 24, as a competitive swimmer, but Ian Thorpe has swum his last lap he's dominated for the past 10 years. today announcing he's quit the sport An emotional Thorpe admits to walk away from the pool, it's not the best time for him but it is his time. highest profile sportsman, strides in Ian Thorpe, Australia's of his career. to deliver the toughest decision APPLAUSE It's emotional career flashing before my eyes. because I see my entire swimming a perfectionist to the very end. The 5-time Olympic swimming champion

As of 2:53 Sunday afternoon swimming in the world championships. I decided that I wouldn't be very difficult decision that day, I also made another my professional swimming career. I'm actually going to discontinue staring at a black line You can swim lap after lap

and see what's around. and, all of a sudden, you look up going to be some intrigue. But with Thorpie, there's always convinced him to call it quits. revealing a mystery person I'm not allowed to say their name. I've been seeing someone, Absolutely incredible. They're incredible.

has lost his desire to compete The 24-year-old but not his sense of humour. to look for a job, I haven't picked up a newspaper

for an ex-Olympic swimmer but if anyone's got any good ones because they don't write that. his own TV program Thorpe is already working on but as for the detail... I'm not actually going to say too many people. because I might offend

it's the end of an era. Our greatest admit There was a period there could get near him where nobody in the world and that is extraordinary around very often, if ever again. and it's something that doesn't come enjoyment over the 10 years You've given us a hell of a lot of and have a great life. and you go off now Congratulations from the very top. of his at the relay I remember a wonderful performance at the 200 Olympic Games

but, like so many other Australians, great performances. there have been so many somewhat of a surprise. But his own proudest moment, If I can be remembered for anything what I'm doing here today I'd like to be remembered for this,

presented in front of everyone, because this is my career that is

that I can offer. and that's the best in the pool Everyone will remember what I did

moments, but this is one of my proudest

and do this today. is being able to stand up here as our greatest ever Olympian - Ian Thorpe leaves swimming

five gold medals. the 4x100m as the team member Among them, his personal favourite on a personal level. and also the 400m freestyle what about Beijing? That was Sydney and Athens, I never rule anything out I won't rule it out, but it's just not going to happen. I've had a great career. to be walking away from the sport It isn't the best time for me but it's my time. Frank Coletta, Ten News. So what now for the Thorpedo? With Thorpe Inc a thriving business, on other passions in his life, he can now focus see him in Hollywood blockbusters. with some tipping we might soon He's made millions from underwear to muesli bars. from selling everything Now, maybe, the big screen beckons. to Hollywood I think he's going to go

and become a movie star. was an Olympic champion Johnny Weissmuller

who went into the movies. in Hollywood already. Ian Thorpe has got his home Nicole Kidman, He's mates with Tom Cruise, Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts. Celebrity agent Max Markson believes to be an action star, the Thorpedo has the build no acting skills required. anymore, They haven't got Schwarzenegger Bruce Willis is getting old. the next 'Terminator'. He's going to be Ian Thorpe, the Terminator. his mind what he'll do. The 24-year-old hasn't made up a lot of people my age, 'Cause, like, we have no idea about what we want, and it can be a little confusing. around $5 million a year, Existing sponsorship deals earn him won't last long. but the time to cash in even further a sort of 3- or 4-year horizon. Yeah, look, again, going forward. It depends on his profile will be critical for him. I think the next 12 months with the big end of town Ian Thorpe's popularity by the announcement. won't be diminished can earn at least $25,000 The now former swimmer every time he makes a speech. his earning capacity Thorpe plays down he'll remain financially secure. but there's no doubt from a dollars point of view, If I wanted to look at it in the pool. I should have just stuck at it with Adidas - That won't alter his lucrative deal

that has another five years to run.

elite athletes And he's one of the few who have contracts around the world. good exposure in Europe and the US, He's been a big star in Japan, and I think he is a one-off. Kevin Wilde, Ten News. Ian Thorpe leaves the pool as Australia's greatest Olympian - a career glittering with 5 gold medals, 3 silver and a bronze. On the way he smashed 13 world records as well as winning 11 world championships and 10 Commonwealth golds. He once sat in the shadow of Kieren Perkins, a gangly 14-year-old with size 16 feet. Ian Thorpe, for his age, is just a sensational athlete. A Sydney schoolboy who'd rapidly graduate to greatness. COMMENTATOR: Someone wake him up. He's got to swim the final. The sleepy kid would wake up the whole world instead. Perth 1998. COMMENTATOR: Thorpe. Oh! World champion at 15! It's surprising. I don't know how I'll handle it. He handled it with world records - the best freestyler in history over 400m and 200m. COMMENTATOR: He's done it again, and two in a row! And he became our great hope for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. I go to bed every night saying, "Please, God, keep him right till the Olympics." He needn't have worried, because Thorpe delivered Australia's first gold of the Games.

We have just witnessed the birth of a legend! Just 80 minutes later, he famously mowed down US swimmer Gary Hall Jr

to take Australia to the 4x100m relay gold medal, the Americans smashed like guitars. To be able to perform like that in front of a home crowd in my home town. He came away from Sydney with three gold medals. Four years later, more beckoned in Athens, until this. Oh, my God, it's a one-start rule. He's out. Thorpe disqualified from his signature event, the 400m, at the Olympic trials. The generosity of his friend Craig Stevens allowed him to swim it in Greece, and he didn't disappoint.

I was emotional because I didn't realise how much this event meant to me. Then a classic 200m final - the first Australian in 108 years to win five gold medals. He's done it in magnificent fashion! The kid with the big feet now the undisputed giant of our Olympic folklore. Leanne West, Ten News. A major bushfire battle is under way tonight in the Blue Mountains. Hundreds of firefighters are trying to contain a front burning out of control which is likely to threaten properties within the next 48 hours. This is the fire front posing the biggest threat to Blue Mountains communities, the result of two massive blazes which joined overnight and roared through containment lines. The worst blaze is in the Grose Valley area but historically,

major fires that start here eventually threaten property. It's been a challenge to say the least, the inaccessible territory, extreme fire behaviour at times and the weather of course. About 400 firefighters are now on the job backed up by aircraft working to slow the spread of the flames before conditions worsen. A total fire ban now applies to all but the north-east corner of the State. The Rural Fire Service holding community meetings across the Blue Mountains. Residents warned to prepare their homes as conditions worsen. They should be doing their housework making sure that gutter and roofs are void of leaves and twigs making sure their gardens are in reasonable condition.

The 16 aircraft operating behind me

is the eye and the way firefighters

can battle the flames. Or ground

crews have been have withdrawn from

he added it is too dangerous and

too windy. Temperatures hit

tomorrow will large a 40 degrees

over the next 24 hours. Local

communities and firefighters are

braced for a gruelling battle. And with temperatures in the Blue Mountains And Daniel Sutton joins us now from near the firefront. Dan, a challenging night ahead. Any disruptions to traffic through the bushfires region?

Already the wind is starting to hit

the Blue Mountains, but they're

worried that at around 3 o'clock

tomorrow morning wind of around 80

kilometres an hour will hit this

area. They could stand as flames

and push them east towards some

major townships in the Blue

Mountains just on the northern side

of the Great Western Highway, towns

like Winmalee and Falcon Bridge.

That is a major concern for fire

crews because from dusk all their

fire-fighting aircraft will be

grounded. There is another major

concern in the Hawkes Britain night,

with a fire burning along a five

kilometre front it and the wind

could push that up to the township

of St Albans. Is there any

disruption to road traffic in

either of those regions? Yes, the

Bells Line of Road remains close

tonight between now and timer and

the Dar ling Causeway. The Great

Western Highway is open but there

is smoke around so motorist are

advised to take care. Blue

Mountains National Park will remain closed until further notice. 25 nuclear reactors spread across Australia could supply a third of our electricity by the middle of the century. That forecast by a Federal Government task force

igniting a political debate by declaring nuclear power a safe option.

The draft report, produced by the PM's hand-picked team of experts, acknowledged that nuclear power currently costs 20% to 50% more to produce than coal- or gas-fired power, but that could be about to change if we tax or price greenhouse emissions

from existing power stations. The cost of fossil fuel being such as to make nuclear energy not only competitive but quite attractive. The task force envisages up to 25 nuclear power stations by 2050,

with the first operational in 10 years time. The cost - around $3 billion each. The upside would be an 18% reduction

in our national greenhouse gas emissions. Some in the environment movement are unimpressed. Basically a public relations vehicle to try and push the whole nuclear disaster down Australia's throat. The task force found nuclear power stations now have lower accident rates than any other form of generation. Is the risk zero? No. But still, do Australians want a nuclear power station near their backyard? The question Mr Howard needs to answer is this - where will the 25 reactors go and where will the waste be dumped? If you are fair dinkum about addressing the problem of climate change, you have to consider everything.

Now, I don't pretend it will be easy, I don't pretend it will be popular. As for storing nuclear waste, the task force said if we went down the path of nuclear power we would be obliged to store our own waste, but it noted there were plenty of suitable sites to do that on our sprawling continent. Greg Turnbull, Ten News. Emotional scenes in State Parliament as the Attorney-General goes on the defensive. Details next. Also tonight - back with a bang. Missing sailor Tony Bullimore runs into trouble yet again. And spreading the Christmas cheer - Sydney becomes the new tinsel town.

Bunnings is the temple of DIY. So, of course Santa has to shop here if he didn't buy things from here for them. Treated pine sleepers, $10.90 each. Aluminium extension ladder, $89. 7-piece piazza outdoor setting, $299. Bunnings is certainly the place for Christmas. Lowest prices are just the beginning.

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This program is captioned live. Emotional scenes in State Parliament, as Attorney-General Bob Debus went on the defensive over allegations by Opposition Leader Peter Debnam. Parliament was told the unfounded claims came from a convicted paedophile. Our State political editor Paul Mullins joins us now. Paul, it was a hushed Parliament that Bob Debus addressed today?

Very much so - you could have heard

a pin drop while Bob Debus was

talking. The Attorney-General said

the convicted paper file had been

making unfounded allegations

against him from as far back as

1998. He listed a number of past

and present politicians who have

had a part of these. W26 has had a few champions in his life - Franca Arena, Charlie Lynn.

But now everybody but 'Wild' Bill Heffernan and Peter Debnam have walked away from him. His claims have always been grounded in fantasy and malice. I'll continue to ask the hard questions. Mr Speaker, that's what Parliament is for.

It seems that the public is tiring

of sleaze politics on both sides.

The chances of a hung parliament in

March are increasing. A judge has called for an urgent inquiry into the actions of corrective services officers who fatally locked a sex offender in a cell with a homicidal prisoner. A psychologist told prison staff not to put Michael Heatley in a shared cell because he posed a serious risk to other people. But prison officers did just that, and Heatley killed Craig Behr in a psychotic moment. The victim's family say the judge's comments have restored their faith in the justice system.

He knew that they were lying and I knew they were lying too. Heatley won't be eligible for release until 2016. Ocean adventurer Tony Bullimore has arrived back in Australia with a bang. He's crashed into a dock in WA sending one of his crewmen into the water. An abrupt end for Tony Bullimore's Indian Ocean crossing

in Albany this morning. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! I tell you what, it's like Fred Karno's circus. A media circus maybe. The 67-year-old and his 4-man crew making landfall a fortnight after losing communications en route from the Maldives to Hobart. He denies it was a publicity stunt for his upcoming world record attempt. We never even dreamed about it. The fact was that people started to get a little worried after they hadn't heard from us for a week. He says he would have activated an emergency beacon if needed, the same type that saved his life almost 10 years ago, guiding a $6 million navy search that plucked him from the Southern Ocean. in his upturned boat. a big bomb, a big major storm and all the rest of it. But he says he won't pay a cent if he needs help again. It's not me that makes the rules on that. It is a fact that if you get into trouble, you look for assistance to get out of trouble. In Albany, he's refuelling and having his satellite phones and a gearbox problem fixed but first stop is for some bacon and eggs and a few drinks with the crew. Tony Bullimore heads straight to Hobart from Albany. There he'll strip down 'Doha 2006' in preparation for his world record attempt. He'll try to circumnavigate the globe in just 70 days, solo,

and he's praying there'll be no rescues needed, hoping to be remembered for more than the mercy dash of 1997. I don't want to use the word epitaph, but it would be a great one towards the end of my racing. It's going to stop sooner or later,

but it would be very nice to finish on, wouldn't it? Nick Way, Ten News. Sydney should be sparkling this Christmas, with the City Council promising more tinsel and festive decorations than ever before.

Even our most famous beach could be in for a Christmas bonus. It's beginning to look and sound a lot like Christmas. (All sing) # We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Once dubbed the 'Christmas Grinch', the Lord Mayor is promising Sydneysiders much more Christmas cheer this year. I think what's been brought home to me as Lord Mayor is how important it is to bring people together for festive and joyful occasions.

These pound pooches also promised a whole lot of love, with proceeds raised from this year's events going to the RSPCA. The 20m-high tree in Martin Place stands ready to be lit, its 19,000 lights to be switched on at a special ceremony on Thursday night. We're going to have very magic projections on the town hall each night. The city to be blanketed with decorations, including more than 1,500 banners - a new addition this year, the Southern Cross design. Come Christmas Day and Bondi Beach is the place to be - tonight Waverley Council will vote on plans for Christmas decorations to be put up here for the first time. And it's already got the tick of approval from the council's Jewish mayor. It doesn't matter what faith you are, it's a wonderful thing to see families come down to the beach and celebrate Christmas. It would be good to have a good, nice Christmas in Bondi. But the best lights, though, will be from above come New Year's Eve, with national coverage of Sydney's fireworks celebrations to be shown live on Network Ten. Ebbeny Faranda, Ten News.

How hot was that today? How hot was that today?

How hot was that today? It is an

still 40 degrees out to West. How hot was that today? It is an still 40 degrees out to West.

How hot was that today? It is an still 40 degrees out to West. How hot was that today? It is an still 40 degrees out to West. How hot was that today? It is an still 40 degrees out to West. How hot was that today? It is an still 40 degrees out to West. How hot was that today? It is an still 40 degrees out to West. How hot was that today? It is an still 40 degrees out to West. It

will not be much better tomorrow.

Bega had its warmest November day

in 40 years with 40 degrees. Is

there any relief in sight? Now,

there isn't. Heart westerly turning

north-west wins tomorrow. They all

bring trouble for the firefighters.

A blank is a 38 degrees all over

the city. It was a heart and hazy

day is where the air conditioner

just did not work.

Tomorrow, the very heart weighs 38 degrees. Two dead and more than 20 injured when a school bus plunges off a highway overpass.

That story next. And Kramer cracks - the 'Seinfeld' star's racist rant. Same loan amount. Their standard home loan variable comparison rate is an average 8.2% per annum. Their Members Equity Bank standard home loan variable comparison rate is a lower 7.49% per annum. They pay no application or ongoing monthly fees. Over the full term of the loan, they could save up to $21,000. and over five million Australians are - or visit our website.

Time for a check on traffic. And Time for a check on traffic. And it

is 39 degrees appear and that is

why we are over the northern

beaches. We had reports Ellia that

traffic was extremely slow heading

towards a manly and we can confirm

that. The beach looks OK from where

we are now. Traffic going to award

at Bondi is very slow. Two students are dead and 23 injured after a school bus plunged off a highway overpass in America. The bus driver reportedly swerved to avoid another vehicle when he lost control. The bus crashed through a barrier, falling about 9 metres. Many of the injured are believed to be critically ill. The crash has reignited calls for seatbelts in school buses. Photographs have been released A former 'Seinfeld' star has apologised for making racial slurs against blacks during a comedy routine. Michael Richards, who played Kramer on the popular sitcom, says he's not a bigot despite having repeatedly used the 'N' word. No-one was laughing as Michael Richards,

better known as 'Seinfeld's Kramer, went into a screaming rage yelling racial abuse at two African-American men who dared heckle him in an L.A. comedy club. As they challenged him, he became even angrier. An audience member capturing it all using a mobile phone camera. Richards repeatedly used the 'N' word to describe the men and other black members of the audience. Once the word 'N' comes out of your mouth and you don't happen to be African-American, then you have a whole lot of explaining. Darryl Pitts was one of the 300-strong audience, most of whom walked out. He dropped the mike and then just walked off. There was never any "I'm sorry for what you saw". The club refunded the audience its money and banned Richards, whose racial slurs have been described as a speech of hatred. The 57-year-old finally apologised joining former co-star Jerry Seinfeld via satellite on American television. I'm very, very sorry to those people in the audience, the blacks, the whites, the Hispanics, everyone that was there

who took the brunt of that anger and hate and rage. A rage that has left him labelled a racist.

In the United States, Leisa Goddard-Roles, Ten News. Rupert Murdoch has killed off OJ Simpson's shocking TV interview and book, in which he hypothetically confesses how he could have murdered his ex-wife. Simpson had been paid more than $3.5 million for the TV special

and a book entitled 'If i did it'. The interview was due to air on Fox stations across America, but owner Rupert Murdoch has bowed to public pressure and scrapped it.

Mr Murdoch's apologised for what he's called an 'ill-conceived project'. Brisbane is a sea of red and white on the eve of the first Ashes Test. The Barmy Army invading the city primed to party. In pubs across Brisbane there are pints and Poms - thousands of them. (Man sings) # Where do we come from? (All sing) # Where do we come from? # We know where you come from. It's estimated the Barmy Army soldiers have filled half the hotels and hostels across the city. You might not see them, but you will hear them. At today's traditional pre-Test luncheon they enjoyed a chicken entree, beef main, and Australia's latest comedy sensations, Ricky and Mike. Why didn't they pick me? I don't think you were even on the short list. He's definitely on the short list! There are Ashes legends everywhere in Brisbane this week. In fact, earlier today we spotted someone who looks not unlike him and another guy who looks very similar to him. Beefy Botham and our Boony pouring beers and reminiscing about a less portly period of their lives. It's great to win in England. It's even better to beat Australia in Australia. Brisbane is Ashes-mad right now. Former sports stars are having a hit, but still Stuart MacGill carries the drinks. Regardless of what unfolds over the summer, you get the feeling this chap will be in fine form. Few could argue Ricky Ponting is in career-best form.

You can be me and I'll be Kerry Packer.

LAUGHTER Brad McEwan, Ten News. We'll have more from Ian Thorpe's emotional press conference, next. Also, underage and unruly - the latest problem group for police trying to keep schoolies under control. And our own world wonder down-under,

but has the Opera House got what it takes?

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This program is captioned live.

Top stories this newshour - 25 nuclear reactors spread across Australia could be delivering a third of our electricity supply by the middle of this century. A Federal Government taskforce has ignited a political debate by declaring nuclear power a safe alternative. A major bushfire battle is under way tonight in the Blue Mountains. Hundreds of firefighters are trying to contain a front burning out of control. It's likely to threaten properties within the next 48 hours. And Ian Thorpe has swum his last lap as a competitive swimmer. The 24-year-old today announcing he's quit the sport he's dominated for the past 10 years. An emotional Thorpe says he has other priorities besides swimming and is looking forward to new challenges in the future. And here's more from Ian Thorpe's emotional press conference. As of 2:53 Sunday afternoon I decided that I wouldn't be swimming in the world championships. I also made another very difficult decision that day, I'm actually going to discontinue my professional swimming career. It was a tough decision but one that I'm very pleased I've made and I've been working towards this decision for quite some time. I also know that there are people out there that are going to want me to still swim.

I really hope that I wanted to swim half as much as other people want me to

and I also realise that it would be dishonest to myself and dishonest for everyone else if I was to continue on that basis because it wouldn't be for me,

I would be doing it for someone else. I'd like to thank everybody in this country. I'd like to thank everyone for the support that they've given me It's been unwavering, it's been incredible and I don't know - I don't know where it's come from but it's just a wonderful thing to know you have so many people who care for you. I don't see myself competing. I don't think it will happen. I won't rule it out, I never rule anything out but it's just not going to happen. Australian stocks have closed in positive territory today clawing back some of yesterday's losses. Police on the Gold Coast are battling new problems during Schoolies week. clawing back some of yesterday's losses. Police on the Gold Coast are battling new problems during Schoolies week. As well as older hangers-on, underage children are roaming Surfers looking for trouble and finding it. They're the most violent scenes from this year's schoolies celebrations but they're not schoolies, they're not even toolies. These girls slapping, kneeing and pulling hair on the weekend are unrulies - reportedly under-age, and these, 14 and 15 years old. This is schoolies! Rah! But police say the children celebrating ahead of their time are in the minority. It's still the older toolies invading Surfers - non-schoolies infiltrating the end-of-year celebrations and this year they're causing even more trouble. Our arrests for non-schoolies for last night were double that of the previous year. Last night there were 30 non-schoolies arrested. It's very clear that the schoolies are keen to party with schoolies. In fact, you listen to them and you hear them say, "Mate, are you a schoolie or a toolie?" Some would barely remember school. Overnight, a 56-year-old man was arrested, accused of taking photos under girls' skirts with his mobile phone. This fellow is 56 and from Victoria. He shouldn't be there in the first place and certainly not for this purpose. Very concerned. Appalled. Annoyed at the audacity that they think they can prey on our visitors. Max Futcher, Ten News. Australian gardening star Jamie Durie has landed a regular spot on 'Oprah'. OPRAH: Meet our latest discovery, all the way from Australia. The cute factor just doubled up here. Why millions want him and you will too. Durie will be the talk show queen's new renovation expert, broadcasting to a worldwide audience of 30 million people. He'll make his debut on the show, to be telecast in the US, tomorrow.

Talking about cute, heres a Tim

Bailey. Our viewers a very talented.

The photos coming in have been

great. They have really made this

segment work. Heres at the weather photograph.

I wonder if they're looking for a

weather men? 41 degrees out west,

14 degrees above average. The Dow

had eat hot as November day in 13

years. Tomorrow he will be 38

degrees across the city. There is a

chance of a thunderstorm tonight

but it will be a dry one.

I'll be back later. Tim Webster with sport and more on Ian Thorpe's decision to quit.

Yes, ahead, Thorpe talks about leaving swimming on his terms.

Ahead, hitting the career wall for the final time - why the body was willing but the mind was not. COMMENTATOR: He's done it! An absolute legend! Also, drama in the nets. Is this yet another blow for England in the final countdown to the Ashes? The NSW Government has developed a plan to shape the way we live for the next 10 years. We asked you what's important. You told us. We listened and developed the State Plan. It's built on five values. Respect and responsibility, to create safer, harmonious communities. Delivering better services, to improve hospitals, schools and transport. Fairness and opportunity - a fair go for all. Growing prosperity to ensure jobs and investment so our economy grows. And an environment for living,

to enjoy now and in the future. Go to the website to read about the new direction for NSW. Don't run around in circles when home loan rates rise, We can make comparing hundreds of loans and finding a better deal fast, free and easy. A massive 10% off your total ActewAGL electricity and natural gas account. Feels good. Just bundle five services with ActewAGL and TransACT. Plus you'll get a free two-year Privileges Card valued at over $300. That's a massive 10% off your total electricity and natural gas account. Call 13 12 93. Or visit the ActewAGL Home Connect store in Civic. This program is captioned live. As you no doubt know by now,

the swimming career of one of Australia's greatest athletes is over. Five-times Olympic champion Ian Thorpe announced his retirement today

at the age of just 24. When Ian Thorpe won a world championship at 15, the boy became a man before his time. His achievements in the pool matched by an eloquence Thorpe's maintained to this day. I ask that when a little child asks their parents tonight "Why is Thorpie not swimming any more?" that they have the right information, that they have the information from my mouth to be able to give the right answer.

Thorpe's swimming career was spectacular accumulating 10 world titles and five Olympic gold medals. My favourite moment was our 4x100m freestyle relay in Sydney but the best performance that I've had was my 400m freestyle in Athens because of the state that I was in before I swam. But a life lived in the glare of the public eye contributed to an early onset mid-life crisis at just 24. Like a lot of people my age, we have no idea about what we want and it can be a little bit confusing so I'm trying to get to a point where I can move in that direction When illness and injury struck this year he sought sanctuary in Los Angeles with swim consultant and life coach Milt Nelms

and his partner Australian swimming legend, Shane Gould. I learnt things about myself and about swimming that I never thought were possible. However after returning to Sydney, Thorpe's motivation to continue churning through the water simply dried up. Physically, I had it there, I could do it, I was physically in shape but inside, I had nothing, it wasn't there any more. Thorpe also says a mystery friend has guided him his toughest decision. It's emotional because I see my entire swimming career flashing before my eyes but at the same time, I have this excitement for what I'm about to do. Having reached the top of his chosen career at an age most of us are just getting started, Ian Thorpe now looks for new challenges, expanding business interests, broadcasting - whatever he chooses, Thorpe's track record suggests he'll be a success. Mark Chester, Ten News. Shane Watson is out of the first Ashes Test. The Queensland all-rounder has succumbed to a hamstring strain. Shane Watson tried his hardest to impress at training this afternoon, but it was all in vain. It's just one of those things that I've done everything I can over the last 3-4 days to give it my best shot to be right, but unfortunately I'm probably a couple of days away. Selector David Boon agreeing it's the best course of action. Obviously to take someone in who's got a little niggle or something that could possibly go wrong in the first Test of such an important series would be a big gamble. England has its own concerns after this morning's net session. Key batsman Ian Bell was left wringing his wrist after he was struck by James Anderson.

X-rays this afternoon cleared him of a fracture. From what I've seen, I don't think it's going to prevent him from playing. From what I've seen. We don't know anything further than that

but we're very hopeful that he'll be ready to play. The Bell scare aside, it was a flat-out session from England with Harmison bowling at full stretch, showing no signs of the side strain which kept him out of the tour match with South Australia. The ghosts of Ashes past looked on today, as Australia finds itself in a position not seen since 1989. We don't enter too many series where we've got that challenge of getting something back. We've normally got the trophy and we're trying to retain it. Adam Gilchrist has also exorcised some demons, coming up with a way to combat Andrew Flintoff bowling around the wicket. You'll have to wait and see.

(Chuckles) Batting right-handed. LAUGHTER Rob Hazel, Ten News. The news is all good for the Aussies ahead of Saturday's Tri-Nations final. Winger Matt King has passed a fitness test on his injured ankle and captain Darren Lockyer took out one of the highest honours in the game. The Golden Boot Award as the world's best player. But, of course the Kiwis are planning to spoil the party this weekend. With icebergs circling their own country, the Kiwis struggling with Sydney's heatwave conditions and the heat will definitely be on come Saturday night. Willie Mason looking to 'get square' with David Kidwell. But the visitors say they won't be baited. It will be a little bit of a goal of ours

to have Willie Mason at the end of the game, he's never been tackled so hard around his legs. The Kiwis will be happy to stop Darren Lockyer whatever way they can. The Kangaroos captain joining the likes of Brett Kenny and Brad Fittler by collecting league's Golden Boot last night. Yeah, it's a huge honour. Just some of those names you've mentioned then were heroes of mine growing up. I just feel really proud to be amongst them.

And 12 months since being a happy Wallaby tourist,

Leroy Houston has switched to league. He's agreed to play with his local team the Asquith Magpies in the Jim Beam Cup competition. Houston wanting to play with his mates after walking out on the Waratahs and a potential Wallabies career, last month. Adam Hawse, Ten News. The Wallabies have hit back at claims of poor discipline and behaving like rock stars. Some former players say the current squad is too pampered to win games in the mud and misery of the Northern Hemisphere. They're obviously not here

and they don't see the work and the preparation that goes into those games and they're so far removed from it. Their comments, I guess, mean nothing to us, other than they just frustrate us. Off-field, three senior players stayed out all night after the unconvincing Test win over Italy, one player reportedly clashing with a member of the coaching staff. It's a storm in a teacup. It's definitely not a mountain. It's not a molehill either, but the players were tapped on the shoulder and that was the finish of it. Meanwhile, Mat Rogers is set to be back for Australia A against Scotland A at fly-half. And in Sports Tonight, we'll have more on Thorpie's retirement and how the swimming fraternity is coping with his decision.

Let's a look at the traffic. You

are sweating it out at the Sydney.

Traffic heading out to Maryland's

is stuck in a lot of traffic. There

are broken-down vehicles as a

result of the temperature. This is

the Cumberland highway. All three

lanes are gridlocked and the

traffic goes all the way back towards Smithfield. Stay with us.

Tim Bailey has more on how long this heatwave is going to last. When I was a kid, my family always watched the Sunday movie together. We got FOXTEL 'cause we wanted that with our kids. And the food - so many cooking shows! I've become obsessed with cuisine. My wife thinks it's lovely when I watch the kids' shows with them. And how good is Animal Planet?! When the big games are on, me and the boys yell at the TV all night. Entertain every part of you. Call 131 787 for FOXTEL Digital, and make it yours.

Let's get it.

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Time for all the way their details are. Time for all the way their details are. Time for all the way their details are.

are. Is that flower there to are. Is that flower there to

improve your remark on such a bad

day? It got up to a 41 degrees at

West, with a 14 degrees above

average tomorrow and now release.

It will be 38 degrees across Sydney.

This is the Crown Princess Mary

Rose Bay will be available in the

next few weeks. $1 from every one

of these will go to the National

Heart Foundation, so we will be

saving people's lives. Keep an eye

out for these are hard won on the

way. That wind will blast at around

80 kilometres an hour and will Kiki

in at around 3 o'clock tomorrow morning across the day.

Temperatures will be up around 38 degrees.

Those freed temperature will be 20

degrees. And some cloud is causing

it squally thunderstorms. There is

extreme fire danger. Hot northerly

winds will persist in western

Queensland and dominate northern

and eastern New South Wales. A low-

pressure trough will bring a cool

change to southern New South Wales,

Victoria and South Australia. The

very warm easterly winds will

develop across Western Australia.

It will be very hot tomorrow to

follow up what was also very hot

today.

today. Then at temperatures it will

settle down to the high twenties

and fine and sunny for the next seven days.

Voting is now under way to have the Opera House listed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

A sausage sizzle and a tribute in lamington kicking off the campaign to encourage everyone to vote for the harbour icon. The famous white sails have been short-listed among 20 other landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty,

the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China. You can vote online at newsevenwonders.com. The winners will be announced next July. That's the news at 5:00. I'm Ron Wilson. And I'm Deborah Knight. Thanks for your company. Ryan Phelan and Sandra Sully will have the 'Late News' with Sports Tonight' at 11:30. Good night. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre. www.auscap.com.au ( BELL RINGING ) ( WHISTLE BLOWING ) ( PLAYING THE BLUES )