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(generated from captions) This morning - has died. Australian actor Heath Ledger was found in his New York Apartment. The 28-year-old Oscar winner We were just really shocked. We just found out - it's unbelievable.

weather another turbulent night World stock markets slashes rates. as the US Federal Reserve

but the threat is not over. And Queensland's floods peak This program is captioned live. Morning News with Jessica Rowe. VOICEOVER: This is Seven You're watching Seven News. Good morning. Australian star Heath Ledger in his New York apartment. has been found dead

discovered by his housekeeper The 28-year-old was reportedly is a possible drug-related death. in what police say Rahni Sadler Seven News correspondent his New York apartment block. is outside

Jessica, this is what we're hearing

at the moment. At around 3.

local time at the moment. At around 3.30pm

local time in new

local time in New York - around 7. local time in New York - around 7.30 local time in New York - around

in Sydney - Heath Ledger's

housekeeper knocked on his door at

hiser partment behind me because he

had a massage apoubt r pointment.

She was knocking on the door to let

She was knocking on the door to let

him know. When she went in, she

found Heath Scotland in full cardiac arrest. He died

arrest. He died a short time after

that. There were

that he was that. There were reports unconfirmed

that he was naked. There are dozens that he was naked. There are

and dozens of cameras and reporters

here and hundreds of fans all

expressing shock at his

expressing shock at his death. It is

quite

quite extraordinary today. We don't

know whether it was deliberate or accidental. There were

accidental. There were pills found

Things seemed to around him. He was 28 years old. around him. He was 28 years old.

Things seemed to be going

Things seemed to be going right. He Things seemed to be going right. He

was nominated for an Oscar a couple

of years ago and recently was in the

movie I'm Naot There with Bob bill

Dylan. There was speck

Dylan. There was speculation he was

Dylan. There was speculation he was

upset that Cate Blanchett got a

nomination this morning and he

didn't, but that's unconfirmed. A

very sad day here. It is terribly

sad news. You say there are hundreds sad news. You say there are hundreds

of people outside his apartment.

What's the mood like there?

What's the mood like

What's the mood likethere? It's just

incredibly sad, Jessica. Shock and

disbelief is the mood. People are

disbelief is the mood. People are

shocking by because they don't know.

As we speak, they are in fact - I'm seeing

seeing them bringing out Ledger's seeing them bringing out Heath

Ledger's pody. They're bringing it

out in a van

out in a van and taking it away. --

body. There are hundreds and

hundreds of fans, some of them

hundreds of fans, some of them crying, people distraught. As I crying, people distraught. As

mentioned a second ago, it's only

been a couple of hours since the

are here. news has broken, and so many people

are here. It's Hard for

are here. It's Hard for us as

Australians to realise how

well-known and respected he was.

That was the police siren. That was the police siren. How well-known he was That was the police siren. How

well-known he was over here, how well-known he was over here,

loved he was over here. Every major

network

network is here. There are so many

camera crews, I couldn't even count

camera crews, I couldn't even count

them. I'd say at this point, more

than 60. The police have cordoned than 60. The police have cordoned

off the street and are having to

divert traffic around the building

and this entire block where Heath

Ledger's apartment was. It's just Ledger's apartment was. It's just incredibly sad

incredibly sad here. Here's what incredibly sad here. Here's what

some of the people had to say

outside his apartment earlier. You some of the people had to say

know what? I was actually

know what? I was actually shocked

because we actually see him in because we actually see him in the

neighbourhood often. So

neighbourhood often. So it's just a neighbourhood often. So it's just

neighbourhood often. So it's just a

So shock, you know, sort of disbelief.

So young. I see

So young. I see him riding his bike.

He's, like - I see him with friends

He's, like - I see him with friends

riding bikes. He's always with his

daughter on the shoulders walking - riding bikes. He's always with his

I see him so much. I can't believe

this. We were just really shocked.

We just found out. It's unbelievable

sglfmt listening to the fans there,

you think about his little girl

Matilda, who's just turned 2. On the Matilda, who's just turned 2. On th outside, you'd think

outside, you'd think he had so much

to live for. He outside, you'd think he had so much

to live for. He He did seem to have

so much to live for. He He did seem to have

so much to live for. He was such a

talented aktder and so well

respected -- actor. When you tell respected -- actor. When you

interesting to see paomal you're Australian, it's

interesting to see the reaction.

Some people would bring up Mel

recent Gibson or Russell Crowe. But in

recent years, it was Heath they brought up. brought

brought up. He was in the

brought up. He was in the Bob Dylan

biopick. She was the joker in the biopick. She was the joker in

upcoming Batman movie, which will be

an absolute blockbuster smash here.

He was in indy fill fms. He could do

the young kids and historic films.

He was a very well-rounded actor. fact, just He was a very well-rounded actor. In

fact, just last year at fact, just last

fact, just last year at the Santa

Barbara film festival

Barbara film festival they had a

Barbara film festival they had a

retrospective of his work. Of

course, there was a few flops. course, there was a few

course, there was a few flops. But

they invited him and he was the main

they invited him and he was the main guest. They spoke to him for an hour

and a half about his life. It's

terrible sad to say terrible sad to say obviously death

had already crossed his mind because

last year he mentioned he wasn't that upset about last year he mentioned he wasn't

that upset about dying because he

knows he will live on in his

daughter Matilda, who's 2. It is devastatingly sad

devastatingly sad to see Heath's

body being taken down the street in

a police van when you're used to

interviewing him on the red carpets

at the Oscars and that kind of

thing. He was such a handsome fellow, always so thing. He was such a handsome

fellow, always so nice and shy and

sensitive. Just a devastating day

here in New York. It is indeed. 28

years old. Thanks for the years old. Thanks for the update. Our Seven News correspondent Mike Amor in Los Angeles. Good morning, Mike. Any reaction so far from his former fiance Michelle Williams?

Well, it's really only just broken

here in Hollywood and you can

imagine it's just disbelief. The news was

news was broken to a number of stars

at the Sundance Film Festival and a

at the Sundance Film Festival and a

number of them broke into tears. He

was engaged to Sir Edmund Hillary,

who lived in Brooklyn -- Michelle

Williams. He had a longstanding

relationship with Naomi Watts. Not

sure whether we'll hear from her.

And he's been linked to gemma Ward,

the Australian supermod m. Terrible

news. This was a young man with the

world as his feet. He broke into

Hollywood, had a number of

Hollywood, had a number of flops and

Hollywood, had a number of flops and

turned his back on mainstream

Hollywood and started to make more

spendant films. You're seeing spendant films. You're seeing

Brokeback Mountain there. He was a

heavyweight of Hollywood, no doubt about heavyweight of Hollywood, no doubt

about it. Only 28,

about it. Only 28, but still a huge, huge star.

huge star. And we spoke

huge star. And we spoke a huge star. And we spoke a lot about

the Dark Knight, the sequel to the Dark Knight, the sequel to

Batman. A lot has been said about

Batman. A lot has been said about his performance in

his performance in that movie, and

he's said to be very, very

he's said to be very, very good - a

very, very dark role indeed, and a

lolt of people were speculating lolt of people were speculating this

may be the role that would get him

another Oscar nomination. All of

this unimimportant

this unimimportant of course now. As

you say, he was an extraordinary talent but

talent but seemed to have a real

love-hate raigs with his fame Yeah.

He always seemed to have a running

He always seemed to have a running

battle with the paparazzi. Remember

the water pistol incident? I always

used to find him a little bit

used to find him a little bit moody. used to find him a little bit moody.

Never really likes spaonging to the

media. He always liked to shy away. He

he certainly was a great

he certainly was a great actor but he certainly was a great actor but I

don't think he enjoyed with what

came with being a Hollywood star,

and that

and that is fame. So maybe that's

part and that is fame. So maybe that's

part of it. These people sometimes

find it incredibly hard to deal with

what comes with fame. It just reminds me reminds me of

reminds me of the death of Michael reminds me of the death of Michael

hutchance, and we don't know the

circs behind this death, although

tmz.com is saying he may have

recently been treated for substance

recently been treated for substance abuse. Maybe that's an indicator.

Thanks, Mike. We'll talk later in

the bulletin. Seven News reporter Emmy Kubainski is outside Heath Ledger's sister's home in the Perth suburb of Attadale

and she joins me now. Thanks, Mike. We'll talk later in

the bulletin. Heath was born in

Perth and was very close to his family. His

family. His sister was his

family. His sister was his publicist. Any response from the family yet? publicist. Any response from the

family yet? Jessica, as you said, we're outside

we're outside his sister's home.

When we arrived here, there were a

number of cars parked outside. We

managed to speak to someone from the

managed to speak to someone from the

household, but we're not sure how

household, but we're not sure how

they're related. We heard the family heard the they're related. We heard the family

heard the tragic news over the radio

heard the tragic news over the radio

and are still obviously reeling.

and are still obviously reeling.

They're still trying to comprehend They're still trying to comprehend

all the details. We asked as to

all the details. We asked as to whether they're likely to

whether they're likely to get on a plane plane next.

plane next. At this stage, they

weren't sure. So probably only about

half an hour ago,

half an hour ago, a number half an hour ago, a number of

relatives have also left. We think

there were grandparents here as

well. What else can well. What else can you tell us about Heath? He

about Heath? He grew up in WA. He

did some of his early acting

training there and was very much

close to WA, wasn't he? Yes. He's close to WA, wasn't he? Yes. He's a

hometown boy everybody loves. He's

grown up here and regularly comes

home for holidays. I guess because

he is such a well-known boy, locals know to he is such a well-known boy, locals

know to leave him alone and let him know to leave him alone and let him

have recreational time. Thank frs

have recreational time. Thank frs the details. In other news, the Australian share market opened after yet another turbulent night on world markets. In New York, Wall Street plunged on opening but recovered some of its losses after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates. They were reduced by 0.75% - the biggest cut in more than 23 years. The move caused most major European markets to rebound. For more, I'm joined by Bill Evans, global head of economics at Westpac. Good morning, Bill. How has our market responded to the turmoil in US markets overnight?

Well, Jessica, as you indicated, a

very positive very positive response today, up very positive response today, up around 6.

around 6.5 per cent. That means that

given the 7.

given the 7.1 per cent we lost

yesterday relative to yesterday relative to two days ago,

the market's only off by between 0. the market's only off by between 0.5

and 1 per cent. So

and 1 per cent. So most of

yesterday's loss has been

yesterday's loss has been regained.

With the Fed moving rates only a

week before their week before their meeting next

week before their meeting next week,

one has to assume they felt they'd

have to go again next week. So the

markets are anticipating markets are anticipating another rate

rate cut by the Fed next week that

would have interest

would have interest rates down

sharply. When we combine that with

the fiscal stimulus at present, the

situation has turned quickly in

terms of the better outlook for the UK economy. What's the outlook for domestic inflation data that will be released later today?

We are expecting about 0.

index We are expecting about 0.9 on the

index today. Up until a couple of

days ago, that probably would have

been enough to have the Reserve Bank

raising rates. Now I think we'll need an

need an even higher hurdle for the

bank to decide to move as

bank to decide to move as quickly as

bank to decide to move as quickly as

two weeks. As we know, central banks

are patient and can wait. They've

got another meeting

got another meeting in a month's

time. So even if we

time. So even if we don't see a move

on 5 February, we're not out of the on 5 February, we're not out of the

woods. They'll wait to see the impact woods. They'll wait to see the

impact on the turmoil on the

Australian economy. Thanks, Bill,

and apologies that we're on thp

phone. We have technical problems. Good to hear you. Floodwaters have peaked in central Queensland but it could be days before residents can return home. Charleville escaped relatively unscathed thanks to a makeshift levee. Floodwaters in Emerald are slowly receding.

But Rockhampton is now on flood alert

as waters from three major rivers feed into the Fitzroy. Certainly in Rocky the local authorities there are planning and they're planning for a flood at this stage of around 8.5m. Queensland police have charged a man over a hoax that led to a full-scale air and land search in Emerald yesterday. He was reported missing but later found drunk and hiding. Joining us on the line now from Emerald in central Queensland is Seven News reporter Darren Curtis. Good morning, Darren. What's the situation where you are?

Jess, although the waters have

officially peaked, it's

officially peaked, it's a bit of a false peak. The water false peak. The water is still

trying to find its way throughout

the town and swing through the

the town and swing through the

different part of the town. All the

drains are actually full, the entire network

network is clogged with water and it

can't get away can't get away quickly. So can't get away quickly. So although

can't get away quickly. So although

the water is coming down the stream and hit 15. and hit

and hit 15.35

and hit 15.35 at its highest,

they're still spilling into homes

and there are still

and there are still homes under threat.

threat. Since 1am, it's only dropped 1.

1.5

threat. Since 1am, it's only dropped

1.5cm. That's not a great deal. But the flood crisis isn't over.

Where's the danger now?

Obviously there's homes here

because the water is Obviously there's homes here -

because the water is coming from

different directions, homes are

going to face a challenge here to

stay dry. After that, the water will stay dry. After that, the water will

flow out and move towards

Rockhampton. They're planning for Rockhampton. They're planning for a

significant flood there. Three river

systems are going to meet up

systems are going to meet up on systems are going to meet up on the systems are going to meet up on the

Fitzroy there. So this could be an Fitzroy there. So this could be an

enormous flood. But they know it's

coming so can make preparations. We'll be back with more of Seven News after this short break.

We return to the US now and to our correspondent Mike Amor. Good morning, Mike.

Earlier it was mentioned Heath

Ledger's body had just been removed.

Are we closer to knowing what

happened? I've just seen happened? I've just seen the video.

No, we're not

No, we're not any closer to knowing

what happened, only that the police

are saying he did are saying he did not

are saying he did not die in

suspicious circumstances. We've had suspicious circumstances. We've had that news that

that news that he was surrounded by

pills. So perhaps that was an

suicide, we still suicide, indication. But whether this was

suicide, we still don't know. It may

be days to come before we know that.

So teraerbl sad. 28 years old. Now to the Oscar nominations - has joined an elite club Cate Blanchett for two Academy Awards?

Yeah. This would normally be something to celebrate today,

wouldn't it, but not today. Good

news for her all the same. Nominated

for best supporting actress for

playing Bob Dylan. She has already playing Bob Dylan. She has already

blon a Golden Globes for that and

would be hot favourite for that.

She's also nominated for best

actress for the sequel to Elizabeth.

She's not favourite. The favourite

would have to be July Christie. would have to be July Christie.

These are the other nominees. I think we've got the best actor

there as well - George Clooney

nominated for Michael Clayton. nominated for Michael Clayton. Here

are the rest. Daniel Daylewis would

have to be favourite.

Now, for best film, the World War II

love story

love story Atonement is probably the fraifberate. The small

fraifberate. The small-budged movie

Juno has been nominated. The legal

thriller Michael Clayton, and two

others. I think it will be between Atonement others. I think it will be between

Atonement and There Will Be Blood. Quite

Quite a line-up. Some other Aussie

hopefuls missed out? Russell

hopefuls missed out? Russell Crowe,

I'm not sure what he's done,

very I'm not sure what he's done, but

very unlocky to miss out for

American gangster. He

American gangster. He was incredible American gangster. He was incredible

in that. Also could have been

nominated for best actor. Also Naomi

Watts is pretty unlucky for Eastern

Promises. But a

Promises. But a good day for Cate

Blanchett. Thank you, Mike. A very

28. sad day, with Heath Ledger dying at

Next in Seven News - all the latest sports action, in the Tour Down Under. including local success Also, top seeds roll at the Australian Open.

We'll go live to Melbourne park for the latest on a day of upsets.

PHONE RINGS Hello? WOMAN: Paula, darling. We're organising a cast reunion. The boys can't wait to see you in the old uniform. It's hot, darling. I sent it straight over. Have you seen it? Me? In a size-8? (Scoffs) Get real. Maybe I should call Jenny Craig. off the cost of your program. WOMAN: Right now you can save 50%

in the tennis. It's been a day of upsets world number 38 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Unseeded Frenchman and has beaten Russian Mikhail Youzhny to set up a semifinals showdown with world number two Rafael Nadal. And in the women's, Serena Williams and Justine Henin both defending champions have been knocked out. is at Melbourne Park. Seven sport reporter Tom Rehn

Good morning, Tom. from Maria Sharapova. What a performance

night. She waoupted her Maria Sharapova was amazing last

night. She waoupted her opponent off

the court, and what an opponent

jaegs Justine Henin. It was simply

amazing. To

amazing. To hold her to no games in

the second set, not a bad effort

against any opponent, but Justine

Henin has won 32 straight matches.

Maria Sharapova, you'd have to say

now that she's the favourite to take

out this tournament. She won 2004 at

Wimbledon, 2006 at the US Open, was

a finalist last year,

a finalist last year, but last night

makes you stand up and say she's makes you stand up and say she's

ready to go one better. The commentators ready to go one better. The

commentators said the was the best

she'd ever played. What

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga? She's made it to she'd ever played. What about Jo-Wilfried Tsonga? She's made it to

his best slam semi. How do you rate

his chances against Rafael Nadal?

his chances against Rafael Nadal?

It's going to be tough, but Tsonga

last night was as convincing as it

gets over Mikhail Youzhny. What a

brilliant effort. It's just his fifth grand

fifth grand slam and he's in a

quarterfinal now. Rafael Nadal took

six grand slams to do it, and so

before he made Novak Djokovic. Federer took eight six grand slams to do it, and so did

Novak Djokovic. Federer took eight

before he made a quarterfinal.

before he made a quarterfinal. But Sorgenfri Palace went out last night

like he had nothing to lose. Just

went for his shots, was attacking, wasn't went for his shots, was attacking,

wasn't intimidated, and

wasn't intimidated, and goes into

the semi chock-full of confidence.

Rafael Nadal isn't going to be easy. He's He's making a semi on a He's making a semi on a hardcourt

for the first sime, so he's have a

few nerves too. So Tsonga has every

chance to win it. I think you're

right. A very exciting tai of right. A very exciting tai of tennis

ahead. Thanks so much. the opening stage An Aussie has taken out of the Tour Down Under, has been run outside Europe. the first time a pro tour event has a 4-second overall lead Mark Renshaw of the week-long event. heading into day two on Seven's Morning News. Stay with me here with all the weather details I'll be back

after this break.

PHONE RINGS We're organising a cast reunion. in the old uniform. The boys can't wait to see you

Have you seen it? No, no, nothing's arrived yet. Me? In a size-8? Maybe I should call Jenny Craig. off the cost of your program.

Taking a look at the weather now -

And that's Seven's Morning News to now. Before I go, the Prime Minister has just released a statement on the sudden death of actor Heath Ledger, saying it's a tragic loss of one of Australia's finest actors by Red Bee Media Australia Supertext captions

This program is captioned live.