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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Welcome to Ten's Late News Tonight. Hello. I'm Sandra Sully. their new-found freedom, As the miners celebrate a controversial claim was the result of bad work practices. the rock fall that trapped them who didn't make it out. An emotional farewell to the miner what you'll be getting - Tonight's tax cuts - our special report on the Budget. We'll meet them stronger for individuals, for business. with this plan for tax reform at the Brisbane Lions And the ongoing feud with Tim Webster. headlines Sports Tonight Thanks, Sandra. Jason Akermanis is an angry man, coach Leigh Matthews has widened. and he's admitted his rift with Melbourne boss Brian Waldron fuming Also tonight, over Michael Crocker's 9-week ban.

And we're under way at Teahupoo. tonight in Beaconsfield. First, the celebration continues Ten News reporter Eddy Meyer red letter day. is sharing the mining community's

I can tell you that there is a

definite celebration tonight. One

person in particular, if anybody

had earned a beer Todd Russell did

and he was out with his family. No

sign of Brant Webb, his companion

in the cage for the last 14 days in

fact. But Todd Russell was out with

his family and his mates enjoying a

beer, looking as though not much

had happened to him. He was

hobbling a little, he's a bit

thinner, about 10kg thin e, a

little peal but other wise OK. He

did enjoy himself, he mingled with

his mates, told some stories and

then went off with a more quiet

moment with his family, but

certainly out and about in the town

that has so watched his plight over

the last couple of weeks. Certainly

people respond in these situations

so differently, but after the most people respond in these situations

grueling two weeks, extraordinary

scenes indeed to see him out with

his mates. No doubt feeling the

need to shake hands personally. It

has been an incredible day for

Tasmania. Indeed for the whole of

Australia. For those people who

missed the events today walk us

through how they unfolded? Well, I

can tell you that in my career I've

done very few stories that would

even match this. The range of

emotions that we've felt over the

last couple of weeks here, this

town has been through a lot and

today, well it started before dawn

and it went all day. I'll leave the

pictures to you. You'll see for

it was. yourself just how remarkable a day

A moment of triumph, a remarkable

tale of survival against incredible

odds. After 14 days trapped in a

cage, buried in the bowels of the

earth, Todd Russell and Brant Webb

remove their tags to signal the end

of their shift. One can only

imagine the joy these families feel,

an embrace they almost certainly

feared would never come. Wives an

children, parents and siblings,

they dared to hope for a miracle.

Here the proof for the world to see.

These two Tasmanian miners had

promised to walk out. That they

could in the predawn light simply

remarkable. Watching this amazing

scene dozens of their colleague,

men as hard as rock broken by the

emotion. Just everyone wanted to be

there with them. Yeah, no-one

wanted to sit back, they just all

wanted to congratulate them.

Everyone was just so happy to see

them. They were trapped by a rock

fall that killed a mate. They were

given up for dead. But day after

day they defied death and today

even had thank you cards printed

praising their great escape and

the rescuers who made it happen.

On the streets outside Beaconsfield

mine, crowds gathered as soon as

they heard. Barely able to contain

their joy. After two weeks it's

just fabulous to see them out and

it's fabulous to have those

families all come out together. It

was just so exciting. I can't

believe how exciting it was. I'm

suppose to be at work by 7:00 but I

sent a message saying I might be a

bit late. There have been many day

of false hope. The anticipation of

success dashed by another setback.

Overnight though the best news.

Rescuers were so close, so close

the two men began digging for

themselves. Mine rescuers forced

themselves to take things carefully.

You know they're so close and you

really want to rush in but everyone

knew they had to stop and take

their time and do it proerp. This

man is the explosives expert. He

had to use an amount just large

enough to do the job without

bringing tons of rock down on the

men. We count together three, two,

one, fire so they could brace

themselves for the blast and after

they got out they told me I hit

them three times with scats but

they forgive me. He says it's been

his most difficult job., every ever

have I done anything like this

where I'm around two lives. Union

leader Bill Shorten has lived this

rescue each and every minute. He

says all those who made it happen

deserve a medal. You don't realise

how close you get to it. I'm

probably quite affected by it. I'm

I'm happy for the families and Todd

and Brant. I'm terribly happy for

the rescue work rwokers. Something

that my kids will remember for the

rest of their lives. It was

absolutely amazing. Even though

they may have wanted to walk all

the way to hospital, Todd Russell

and Brant Webb conceded to an

ambulance ride. The back doors and

the side doors of the ambulances

are open. This is a gesture, it

appears that this was on the

instruction of the survivors

themselves and it appears that they

themselves wanted to thank the

crowd, the people who have gathered

here, the people of Beaconsfield.

What I'm going to ask - what I'm

going to try and do and see if we

can't speak to the men on the way

past. How are you feeling? Is it

great to be free? In colourful

language he said he was very well.

At this the crowd could contain

itself no longer. They were driven

away from the gold mine that has

been their prison for more days

than many thought possible. A

moment worth more than any precious

metal. Now of course after they

left here they were taken to

Launceston hospital, doctors

amazed at their good condition.

Their first dawn in two weeks. If

branth and Todd needed medical

attention they sure weren't showing

it. The doors are open. A big wave

from Brant Webb. They were met at

the hospital by a team of doctors

for extensive examination. Tes

checking for blood clots,

psychiatrists assessing their state

of mind after an arduous fortnight.

Bloody beautiful, mate. He's the

man. They both are just absolutely

beautiful. The surprises kept

coming. Both were in good health

and good spirits. One part of me

says I should be surprised but

another part says no, we've had a

lot of effort put into maintaining

them in the best physical condition.

Are they still cracking jokes? Yes,

they are. Both men were

understandably tired of being

confined even to a hospital ward.

Brant Webb discharged himself

after just three hours. Police had

a patrol car on standby but he was

driven away by his family. Todd

Russell remained a bit longer as

well wishers sent flowers an

balloon, he finally got the meal

he'd longed for: Todd is currently

having steak and chips and sauce up

in the ward. Just before midday the

Russell family departed by mini bus.

Then Todd left, having swapped his

mine clothes for a suit and sun

glasses. He walked unassisted by

gingerly, his leg stiff from his

ordeal. There was no comment as he

left for Larry Knight's funeral.

From triumph to tragedy, amid all

the celebrations a sense of loss,

an unbearable sadness as a family

and friends farewell the one man

who didn't make it out. Absolutely,

Sandra. There's no doubt this town

is torn by a variety of emotions,

very much a case in the case of

Larry Knight, the man lost in the

mine, this is now a community torn

between the elation of the rescue

today and the heart ache of his

funeral. The roaring procession of 100 motorbikes ridden by the Christian biker gang the God's Squad a fitting opening to the funeral for miner Larry Knight. His own beloved Harley-Davidson ridden in by brother, Shane. Mourners gathered in Launceston's St John's Anglican Church by the hundreds. But one, of course, turned sombre heads. Todd Russell, one of the men whose miracle came this morning, freed from the caved-in mine after 14 days with fellow miner Brant Webb. Brant was not to be seen among the crowd today. 44-year-old Larry's body was discovered two days after the Anzac Day rock collapse in the Beaconsfield mine. He'd been working the same machine as Todd and Brant but wasn't in the cage that saved them when the mine caved in. Today, the northern Tasmanian community spilled onto the streets.

Just a sign of respect, I suppose

to the family and for the other two

guys that got out. He was a really,

really nice boy. I only know him as

a boy, but from all accounts I

guess he grew up to be quite a nice

man, too. Today, the northern Tasmanian community spilled onto the streets. Attendance, whether they knew Larry or not, just seemed right. Inside the church Larry's daughter, Lauren, and his mates giving moving eulogies paying tribute to a gentle larrikin who loved cars, motorbikes, collecting bottles from the tip and his work as a miner, a job he began at the age of 17. Larry is survived by wife Jacqui, three children

Perhaps the most fitting tribute to

the life and death of Larry Knight

the life and death of Larry Knight

was the reading of the miners

prayer, written by a Welsh woman in

the last century after the death of

her brother in a mine. Larry is survived by wife Jacqui, three children and a community, who after the 2-week Beaconsfield mine ordeal, will never forget. Gerda Jezuchowski, Ten News.

Such movieing scenes today and I

Such movieing scenes today and I think images etched across every

Australian today, but the day's

just about over. The search of

answers begins. Not as hard as the

rescue itself but it's shaping up

to be a long and difficult process

as everyone is brought to account?

Absolutely, Sandra. I think there

will be a lot of questions to be

answered in particular tonight

there's new - there are new reports

emerging asking questions about

just how safe this mine was,

whether they'd taken some short

cuts in the pursuit for gold, the

pursuit for profits. Now one

magazine report is now quoting the

pillars that hold up the honey comb

of tunnels under this area, they

should have been left there in

place to hold up that honeycomb but

were actually blasted away because

were actually blasted away because

they contained gold. Now this is a

suggestion in this article. It's

something that people in this area

have been talking about, people who

have spoken to us about blasting

causing problems with their

structures, their buildings. Now

over the last few days people have

started to ask questions about all

of this. But have held back given

that two men were still underground

thinking that maybe it was

inappropriate, should have waited

until they were released. Well now

they have been released, they are

free, they're well but the

questions about this mine will

questions about this mine will continue. There are a cup couple of

investigations, in particular one

run by the State Government here in

Tasmania looking into the safety of

this mine and whether it in fact

should reopen. Of course the mine

is in administration at the moment,

so there are a couple of questions

there. But of course this is now

the next phase and there will be

lots of questions to be answered.

Sandra. Thank you, Eddy. Emergency workers sent to help with the rescue effort in Beaconsfield arrived home in Sydney tonight. Among the group was NSW ambulance officer Paul Featherstone, who pulled Stuart Diver from the rubble of the Thredbo tragedy. He says he's amazed at how well Todd Russell and Brant Webb have survived the ordeal, both physically and mentally. They had a bit of luck on their side their mental character, and their tenacity to survive was also a big part of it. The team says they'll put off homecoming celebrations until they get some well-deserved sleep.

The Prime Minister will host a reception for the miners and their rescuers in the Great Hall of Parliament House on a date to be decided.

There'll be no escaping that. A huge danger zone declared in South Australia tonight - a massive blast levelling a factory that makes explosives. Two men are dead and another is missing but emergency workers can't get to the scene until the bomb squad gives the all clear. This was no ordinary blast. 40km away, it shook the earth. An explosives plant reduced to rubble. First, one man confirmed dead, then a second. A third man remains unaccounted for. Remarkably, two workers escaped, airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital with toxic chemical burns. A relative left to recount the aftermath of the blast. He spent about a minute after the bang looking through the rubble and then we walked 1km up before he got picked up by another worker. At the site, smouldering chemicals made searching for the missing man difficult. At this particular point in time it's been declared that the site is too unsafe to continue with any searching or any examination. They've discovered that there is a container with dangerous chemicals that is actually smouldering. The two dead men and their missing friend are locals said to be in their 20s. In the tiny town of Gladstone, shock and disbelief. I heard a loud explosion go right past me and it scared the hell out of me. Just a big explosion, a really loud bang, all the windows in the office shook. Emergency crews will resume their search for the missing man at first light.

But with the full impact of the blast now beginning to be understood, hopes for his chances of survival are fading fast. Investigations into the cause of the blast are expected to begin tomorrow. In Gladstone, Gabrielle Boyle, Ten News. Next - tonight's tax cuts - what you'll be getting - our special report on the winners and losers in the Federal Budget. We'll meet our challenges stronger for the investment in families, the aged, in defence. And Nicole breaks her silence on the bust-up with Tom and her brush with Scientology. This program is captioned live. Treasurer Peter Costello has unveiled a $36 billion tax cut bonanza, cutting the top marginal income tax rate for the first time in 15 years. The Federal Budget delivered tonight also makes sweeping changes to superannuation, abolishing all tax on most lump sums and pensions. It was previewed as family friendly, but the centrepiece .5of Peter Costello's 11th Budget is an old-fashioned tax cut, and a big one. Tonight I announce that from 1 July 2006 we will reduce the marginal tax rates at the upper end of the income scale. The top rate down from 47 cents to 45, cutting in at $150,000 a year. The 42 cent rate comes down to 40 cents, cutting in at $75,000. And the threshold for the 30 cent tax rate has been lifted to $25,000 a year. More than 80% of taxpayers will have a top marginal rate of 30 cents. The tax cuts are worth $18 a week for someone on $30,000,

Only 2% of taxpayers will be

affected by the top marriageial tax

rate on 1 July.

$10 a week on $50,000, $26 a week for those on $70,000, and on $150,000 it's worth $120 a week. When combined with increases to the family tax benefit threshold, there are big gains for middle income families. With two kids you've got $30, with three kids $40. The Treasurer also unveiled a plan to change the tax treatment

of superannuation lump sums and pensions, but only for those who wait till they're over 60 to retire. This proposal is radical. It cuts through.

All of the problems and it's the

next great area for refrm of our taxation system. The Budget forecasts have the economy sitting pretty. Next year's surplus at $10.8 billion, growth at 3.25%, unemployment steady just over 5% Mr Costello has brushed aside the concerns of some economists that the big tax cuts could be inflationary and prompt another interest rate hike from the Reserve Bank. The $36 billion man's not worried.

No, I'm not, not in the slightest. In other measures, there's an extra $750 million for medical research, and $500 million for improved water management in the Murray Darling Basin. This is a Budget which invests in the future in roads, in rail, in families. Greg Turnbull, Ten News. Treasurer Peter Costello is confident his multibillion-dollar tax cuts won't put pressure on interest rates. He claims Australia is running the strongest budget in the world. The Treasurer spoke with political editor Paul Bongiorno. Thanks for joining us, Mr Costello. Great to be with you, Paul. This must be the most generous Budget, I think, since Federation. Is it the one you've enjoyed most giving of the 11? I think the reform is huge, the tax reform - changing those thresholds, cutting those rates. And the superannuation reform is a great reform. It will really cut through the complexity of superannuation. And I think this will set Australia up for great opportunities in the future, and that's important. The $6 billion in the financial year coming up of the Budget from July 1 -

you're not wasting much time with the generosity. Isn't there a real danger that you could be overstimulating the economy?

No, this is responsible. The Budget will be in surplus - about $10.8 billion, 1% of GDP. By world standards that is a very strong surplus. We've repaid Labor's debt, all $96 billion of it. We've got our future fund, which is now investing for the future. And it's now responsible to return to taxpayers some of their taxes. So they can decide how to spend them. Or save them, I should say. By one estimate, someone on average earnings of around $50,000 with a $250,000 mortgage, the interest rate rise The tax cut for them is about $10 a week. It sort of balances out, doesn't it? Well, they're not directed at each other, of course. The tax cut is directed at making the Australian tax system more competitive,

rewarding people for effort,

letting them work additional hours, making sure they're not put off by higher marginal tax rates and developing the economy.

That's what it's directed at. Are rising petrol prices the elephant in the room? You didn't really mention them in your Budget.

But it is affecting everybody. In fact, you seem fairly pessimistic on that front.

You say they'll go up rather than go down. Well, petrol prices are incredibly high, the highest they've ever been. They're inflicting a lot of pain on consumers and motorists. But they're determined by world oil prices. World oil prices are now at all-time records. There are some things we can control and there are some things unfortunately we can't, and the world oil price is one of them. I accept that, but alternative fuels - biofuels - now, the Government already has incentives out there for that, but aren't we really at crisis point? Shouldn't you be doing more? Well, as the price of petrol goes up, the competitiveness of alternative fuels becomes greater. And I think you're going to see a much bigger investment going on in biofuels. Why? Because petrol is high. And that's a good thing. There will be a strong market signal to producers of alternative fuels to get on with it.

Now, in your Budget speech you left out the line that inflation should remain contained. Did your eyes skip it or...?

Some of the inflation should remain contained. We're forecasting 2.75%. And I think that's a reasonable forecast, a good forecast.

It's well within our band of 2%-3% and it's all there in the Budget. With the productivity dividend from the workplace changes, I notice that GDP as a measure of growth is around 3.5% to 3.25% in those years. Australia before, under you, of course, and under the previous government, reached 4%. Yes, I think our growth will step up to 3.5%.

And there could be years in the future where we get it higher. But I've also warned of this point - with the ageing population, with fewer people of working age supporting, proportionately, more people of retirement age, you're going to see over a longer period of time Australian growth moderate. And that's because we're not growing our population to the same extent. I've been talking a lot about measures to grow the population.

That's one of the reasons why. You've been very generous to baby boomers. You're a bit older than a baby boomer but you talk about a superannuation plan. How confident are you that when you've had your discussions with the super industry that what you've announced tonight will take place? I'm very confident it'll take place on 1 July. There'll be some technical details to discuss, but we've got 12 months to discuss those, get, hopefully, a consensus, and enact them. That's why I've announced the plan will start on 1 July 2007. So any modifications would be tinkering at the edge? There's a lot of technical detail to be gone through on superannuation, but the broad plan is this - no tax on end benefits. You've paid tax on the way in and of your fund is subject to tax no tax on end benefits,

no tax on a lump sum, no tax on a pension, no tax on end benefits. The biggest simplification we've ever seen in relation to superannuation. I'm sure it's welcome. Child care - 25,000 places

the Budget paper estimates will come out of tonight's announcement. Speculation was, and the demand was, for around 100,000 places. Will that disappoint families and maybe some of your backbench? Well, this is not a capped program. So if there's demand for more places, they can be funded, and they will be funded. We take a stab at what we think the demand is but if it's greater, good, great - we'll fund them. It's not a capped program. It's anybody who's eligible can set up a program and they'll get Commonwealth funding. Thanks for joining us. How can you do better next year? Great to be with you, Paul. I enjoyed your company as always. There's been positive reaction to tonight's Federal Budget from business, industry, farmers and motoring groups. But there's a big thumbs down on child care, education and the environment. Peter Costello has won praise from business for his tax cuts with predictions of more disposable income and more jobs. The opportunity for Australians as a result of this is increased workforce participation.

Business believes the Budget is a good start on tax reform. But critics say it's not enough for lower income families. Working people are struggling to keep their heads above water, and what does the Government give them? $7-$10 in tax relief. While there was some focus on disadvantaged Australia it simply wasn't enough. The lack of childcare places has angered some. This Budget doesn't guarantee a single place or take a single cent off the cost of childcare. While others see... And on health - claims of missed opportunities. At a time of massive budget surplus, we see no big picture for health. But the Budget boost for mental health has been applauded. For the first time in well over a decade people with mental illness are priority number one. Indigenous Australia, however, appears to have missed out. It would take only $1.2 billion to meet the funding short fall to Indigenous communities. On the environment - disappointment over the Government's alternative energy and climate change priorities. It's a budget for your wealthy, your underprivileged and for uranium. Retiree groups are happy with the Government's pledge

to keep its hands off super nest eggs and pensions. It will be a great boost for those who are retired and those contemplating retirement in the future. Transport and motoring groups are also pleased, thanks to the Treasurer's funding of highway upgrades and infrastructure. Tonight's a good first down payment for motorists on the $14 billion a year they pay in fuel excise revenue to the Government. Murray McCloskey, Ten News. For the Labor Party, the Budget contained long overdue tax relief for middle Australia. Shadow Treasurer Wayne Swan says it's a Santa Claus Budget. He spoke with political editor Paul Bongiorno.

Thanks for joining us Mr Swan. Good

to be here. Labor last year wasn't

all that impressed with the tax

cuts. What's your view this year?

I'm happy that taxpayers are

finally getting some of their money

back because as we know they'll

need every cent - rising petrol

prices, the rising interest rates

and the extreme industrial

relations legislation. So they'll

need every cent. What about the

super changes? Some people are

seeing that as a reward for the

self-funded retiree, a reward for

the wealthier older men members of

our society? There's certainly a

need to lift national savings and

encourage people to do that. We'll

look at the detail positively but

I'm not going to sign off on the

package until we've had a good hard

look at it and see if it mesh yurs

up to the objective. So Labor's

happy to support the tax cuts that

are on offer. In a sense, is the

Government, has the Treasurer left

you no room to move on the tax

front? This is not a bonanza for a

lot of middle-income earner but at

least they've received something.

You might recall last year they

were left behind entirely. 7

million picked up a lousy $6. So

it's important that the Government

delivered or delivers some tax

relief to these people and also

some tax reform so it's a better

package than anything that they've

brought forward for a while. You

mention petrol prices, it seems to

me that petrol prices were the

elephant in the room that no-one

poke about. Should the Treasurer

have done more to encourage

alternative fuels or cut excise on

petrol? He's had his head in the

sand. We have to decrease our

reliance upon Middle Eastern oil.

He sirmy denies the importance of

that problem and won't get the ACCC

on the job to investigate

allegations of price gouging.

There's a couple of thing he could

There's a couple of thing he could do immediately. What about the fact

that she's so flush with funds? I

mean after spending 6 billion in

year one he's still got a surplus

of around 12 billion. Isn't it time

the cut the excise or take the GST

off petrol? Think we need to make

sure people get tax relief first

and foremost but he's got to be

very careful in spending too much

because if he does that will put

upward pressure on inflation and

interest rate. Heess chosen to go

this way and at least this package

had some features of a reform pack

iblg. It's not perfect but at least

there are some feature of a modest

reform. You surprised in midterm

you get such a generous budget. The

is this a preelection budget? It

looks to me that John Howard might

be going and pk thinks he's taking

over soon. It's a Santa Claus budget. NAB's chief market economist Rob Henderson joins us now with his view on tonight's economic blueprint. Well, Rob, how do you think the markets will react to this? Well, I think the initial reaction is going to be fairly muted, and that's what we've seen in the futures market tonight in the wake of the Budget. But down the track I suspect we'll see some higher pressure on interest rates in the markets because when you look at the Budget there's no doubt it's slightly stimulatory. So with the markets basically wondering about the Reserve Bank and the strength of the economy, tax cuts in the coming year are obviously going to stimulate consumption a little. Rob, Australian economists have made no secret of their wish lists for tonight's Budget. Do you think the boss listened? Yeah, I think he did, actually, because when you go through the main wish list I think tax reform as opposed to tax cuts was the number one thing on the wish list. Secondly, there was improvements on infrastructure. And thirdly there was improvements in productivity measures. So when you go through that wish list you find that under number one there was some tax reform - the top marginal tax rates were brought back towards the 30% company tax rate. But, more importantly, there was quite a bit of action at the bottom end of the tax scale which will encourage people off welfare and back into work. Secondly, there was a lot of spending on infrastructure - things like roads and rail. Now, that wasn't as big as the tax cuts, but again a move in the right direction. And I guess thirdly,

when economists were looking at productivity measures, they were thinking about things like getting mums back to work, back into the workforce, encouraging people to get off welfare and into work, and also greater skill and education training.

Now, all of those things did get some money in the Budget. So from that perspective I think the boss did listen, yes. The headlines will be major tax cuts. Are they as good as they sound? Well, yes, I think they are. I mean, they've promised tax cuts in the vicinity of $36-$37 billion over four years.

And in the next year, the tax cut is around $7 billion. Now, that's quite a large tax cut. For example, it's around about 0.7% of GDP, or it's worth more than 1% of current household consumption, so when you put it in the context of the economy overall,

these cuts are pretty significant, I think. NAB's chief markets economist Rob Henderson. To the share market, and trading was flat ahead of tonight's Budget. And a policeman remains in a serious condition tonight after being shot in duty in Hobart. A suspect is in custody. The officer was shot twice in the back and once in the face when he pulled over a driver. Now to some other news, and police have shot a suspected thief on a busy road after a high speed chase. The fugitive rammed a patrol car before losing control of his vehicle on a median strip in Adelaide. He jumped from his car and threatened a bus driver with a shotgun then an elderly couple in another car. That's when the officer fired. MAN: How many times was he shot? He was shot - there were four shots fired. The man was wounded in the stomach and leg. He's in a serious condition in hospital, but his injuries are not life-threatening. In a world first, Australians are now able to test themselves for diabetes at home. But doctors warn the new self-test kit could lead to the wrong diagnosis. It's the 60-second home test that allows anyone to check blood glucose levels. It's designed for people to be able to test themselves in the privacy of their own home with no hassle. Type 2 diabetes is now an epidemic. 1.2 million Australians are estimated to have it. Half don't know it. Manufacturers hope putting this test on supermarket shelves from today will help save lives encouraging people to find out before serious health risks develop. But doctors warn self-diagnosis could be dangerous. It's a bit like a home pregnancy test. It's a good indicator and then you follow it up with an appointment with your doctor to have it properly checked. Wrong readings are a risk. Of course there's a risk. However, we've done hospital and medical centre trials we find that provided the instructions are followed correctly, that risk is minimal. And for proof Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by diet and exercise,

'Australia's Biggest Loser' competitor Artie Rocke

has lost 51 kilos and has diabetes. No longer on medication and hence I've lost my Type 2 diabetes. He says, if this encourages people to check,

it's a step in the right direction. Jacinta Hocking, Ten News. Nicole Kidman says she still loves Tom Cruise and that her divorce came as a "major shock". The news comes as an American expose reveals the Church of Scientology fought hard to get her to become one of them. The shock revelation comes in the latest edition of US magazine 'Ladies' Home Journal'.

New photos accompany the article in which Nicole describes her 2001 divorce as a "major shock"

and opens up about her feelings for Tom saying: But a US current affairs program suggests Tom's decision to end the marriage was because Nicole wouldn't embrace Scientology. A former senior member of the church says he was sent to audit Nicole one year before the split to find out why she was losing interest in the religion. She felt it wasn't for her, it wasn't what she wanted to do with her life. REPORTER: Do you think she could've remained Mrs Tom Cruise and not be a Scientologist?

In my opinion, no. Their view of life would be so at odds with each other. I don't think that they could have a very meaningful relationship. Something that doesn't seem to be a problem for Tom's wife-to-be, Katie. Are you a Scientologist? Have you looked into it yourself? I have looked into myself and I really like it and I think it's really wonderful.

Have you tried any sessions at all? Yeah, yeah, and it's really... I feel like I'm bettering myself. Angela Bishop, Ten News. Sports Tonight is next with Tim Webster. Tim, he's never short of a word of three. Jason Akermanis is not happy. Far from it, Sandra. His future at Brisbane hangs in the balance as Acker continues to trade barbs with coach Leigh Matthews. Also tonight, nine weeks - not on.

We disagree severely ourselves with

the severity of the penalty. A World Cup dream over for one of our Socceroos. And a sports story gone wrong.

Here's a gift of an offer. Buy a $5 Scratchie and get two more chances to win. for four more chances to win. Or buy a $10 Scratchie Mother's Day bonus offer. Hurry before it's all wrapped up. SONG: # Scratch me happy! #

This program is captioned live. Brisbane Lions star Jason Akermanis for a new club next year could be forced to look his rift with coach Leigh Matthews. after he revealed the extent of the two have barely spoken for years. Aker has admitted Ian Cohen joins us with the latest. Yes, thanks, Tim. Good evening. has hit back at claims A proud and defiant Jason Akermanis sensitive information that he was the one leaking about the Brisbane Lions. and he never will. He says he never has I've got to go to a doctor each day This year it just seems like and get knife wounds out of my back, but I've got to hang with it. This week his frustration bubbled over on the field. His relationship with Leigh Matthews in tatters - they just don't talk. We haven't had any conversations. So it's not like... That's not unusual. That's normal, you know?

That's something to talk about. But what of his future? He's contracted until the end of next year and doesn't want to leave. But it might not be up to him. if no-one wants you, Of course you consider it but if people want you, so I intend to honour my commitment I'm committed here for those reasons to my team-mates. will miss Friday's crucial match Geelong big man Cameron Mooney against St Kilda his 1-match ban for head-butting. after the tribunal upheld After Moody admitted

face of Melbourne's Ben Holland light contact had been made to the were negligent. the jury ruled that his actions too shattered to talk afterwards And while the fiery Cat was

that he'd let his side down. his coach admitted earlier and you watch it It's not until you sort of get home

and he's up for the tribunal and you get the phone calls it sort of makes you a bit disappointed. The act itself is probably not the smartest thing to do. Meanwhile, the AFL will not lay any charges over an incident where Fremantle's Aaron Sandilands had his jaw broken in a collision with the Eagles' Mark Seaby.

Richmond is hoping to regain skipper Kane Johnson for Saturday's clash with Sydney at Telstra Dome. the test His supect hamstring will be put to in a training session tomorrow. We're wary about these things coming off the ground when you have Scott Camporeale in the first quarter last week, so we won't be taking any risks. They meet the Swans join the exclusive 300 game club. with veteran Paul Williams set to

As a kid you just want to play one

game and then you want to knock off

your 50 rand you just want to get

your name on the locker when you

get to 100. So to get three times

that is, yeah, it's a buzz, it's

really good. And before I go, a

couple of big blows at Hawthorn

with all-Australian Trent corrode

to miss up to a month with a wrist

to miss up to a month with a wrist injury. Also Shane Crawford could

be out for a couple of weeks with shin soreness. The National Rugby League has slapped the Melbourne Storm with a $15,000 breach notice over the club's extraordinary outburst in reaction to Michael Crocker's 9-match suspension. Leanne West has more. Thanks, Tim. You could argue that Melbourne Storm boss Brian Waldron certainly got his money's worth this afternoon as he unloaded on a number of fronts.

by suggesting Michael Crocker joining the attack over the severity a State of Origin conspiracy of his spear tackle suspension. the entire Origin series. The Queenslander will now miss definitely been I'm pretty sure that it might have if I was in a different jersey. a lot more interesting can't have the faith in the system It's a disappointing thing that you to go up and be sure a fair outcome that the outcome's going to be

for Michael and that's a frustrating thing

and it's a frustrating thing for us. support for Melbourne Waldron believes there's not enough in the northern States,

for this weekend's clash fuelling the fire with the North Queensland Cowboys. Particularly the Cowboys coach Graham Murray, the NSW Origin coach, who unfortunately recently spoke of the disappointment of the upcoming Origin game in Melbourne. As a club we struggle at times to understand what we perceive to be a lack of respect from others for the Melbourne Storm. I don't think it's fair to be given two games out of 160 on television when you've been in the top 8 the whole time. is preparing the NSW country side The Storm's coach Craig Bellamy against City. for Friday night's annual match up for grabs on the Origin front. The players getting an idea of what's or suspensions, six spots available. There'll be about, barring injuries dropped for this weekend Referee Russell Smith has been that had Manly coach Des Hasler after the controversial performance the rules. questioning whether he knew referee demoted Russell's not the first senior over the last three to four years in place and I think the system that is makes the referees accountable. inform half-back Adam Dykes. An up and down day for Cronulla's injury would end his season. This afternoon he feared an ankle off the specialist. I've had some good news

He can't promise me yet on Thursday but I'm having an arthroscope four to six weeks. and hopefully I'll only be out

go to rugby union? And will Test centre Mark Gasnier He's discussed the matter with Kangaroo-turned-Wallaby Mat Rogers. He asked all the questions that one would ask if they were seriously considering a change. $700,000 a year And Tim, Gasnier set to make around should he switch codes. him a deadline of tomorrow. The Australian Rugby Union has set

to the quarterfinals Five Australians have made it through event in Tahiti. of the women's Billabong Pro surfing to the the water The girls finally took after waiting four days for waves. Chelsea Georgeson Current world champion sent out a warning on day one. the competition cobwebs The 22-year-old cleaning out with this 9.73 out of 10. joining Georgeson in the quarters Ratings leader Melanie Redman-Carr Nicola Atherton after overhauling wild card

by just 0.4 of a point. shining through in a thriller. The Australian's experience In hindsight, Nicola made a tactical error. The wave looked quite small, but it allowed me to get quite a few turns in and be able to hit the lip and everything, so it turned out to be my best wave. Today's clean one-metre swell

was ideal for the girls to show off their bag of tricks, but with inconsistent sets,

wave selection was critical to success. chose wisely And the Aussie contingent and Layne Beachley with Rebecca Woods, Clair Bevilacqua to the round of eight. all romping through really test your patience out there. Really challenging conditions, they perfectly, or lining up perfectly, It's not really barrelling that you can just smash so you have to choose those ones before you land on the dry reef. and pull off also advanced 3-time event winner Keala Kennelly after taking pain-killing injections during a wipe-out in Fiji. for a bruised spine she injured for Sports Tonight. Scott Mackinnon in Tahiti for veteran defender Tony Vidmar, A devastating blow and his footballing future in doubt ruled out of the World Cup less than 24 hours before he was to be named in the Socceroos squad for Germany. 15 years after making his senior debut, Vidmar was instrumental in booking an historic World Cup berth. His place in Germany cruelly snatched from underneath him. It's devastating, because I know how much work and effort he's put in to it - four campaigns. month away from the World Cup finals And you would finally thought that a and he finally got there. The 35-year-old breaking a rib in the Dutch first division. playing for NAC Breda revealing heart irregularities. Subsequent tests

on the field, We don't want him to be collapsing if he'd gone to the World Cup. and that possibly could've happened His World Cup dreams shattered. for further tests. Vidmar will now return to Australia A dark cloud hanging over his future. three Confederations Cups, Four World Cup campaigns, an Olympic Games - from any country there aren't too many players international record, with that sort of very, very much missed. so his experience will be A huge blow for Vidmar personally. It's also a body blow for the Socceroos' already thin defensive stocks, but sure to raise the hopes of fringe players Michael Thwaite, Ljubo Milicevic and Michael Beauchamp. Glen Lauder for Sports Tonight. Meanwhile, England manager Sven Goran Rriksson has defended choosing injured striker Wayne Rooney in his squad. Rooney's broken foot has him in doubt for the tournament can recover to play some role. but Eriksson is optimistic the star if I didn't pick Wayne Rooney I would be absolutely crazy

it is a possibility when we still think that he will play in the World Cup. One of the shock selections - 17-year-old Arsenal forward Theo Walcott. The final England squad will be named on Monday. Australian basketball coach Brian Goorjian has arrived home from a whirlwind trip to the US confident of having NBA stars Andrew Bogut and Luke Schenscher in his Boomers side for August's world championships in Japan. It's much more than Andrew Bogut. I mean, he's gonna be a very important piece and that was just touched upon. We need contributions from a lot more than him in order to be competitive. Bogut has confirmed his availability despite the objections of his club side, Milwaukee. The Chicago Bulls could force Schescher to remain in the States. World boxing champion Vic Darchinyan proved at training today he has no problem using his head, but he's expecting next month's title defence against Mexico's Luis Malonado to be a slugfest. I like someone to jump on me and give me a punchbag. I expect he will be a real big brawl fight. Darchinyan is Australian boxing's only reigning male world champion. Now here's a very uncomfortable example of a sports reporter throwing himself into a story. A Kiwi crew was shooting a yarn about what it's like to be inside a racing yacht when it rolls over at sea. The reporter and cameraman soon wished they were somewhere else. The reporter emerged with some nasty head cuts that needed treatment by ambulance officers

and a lesson on what can happen when a journalist gets a little too close to a story.

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For me, the north coast of NSW is all about surprises. From the Tweed to Terrigal, there are so many magic places. Colours you see on the beach, you've got turquoise and emerald and gold. I think that's why people keep coming back to visit, because there's always something new to discover. The NSW north coast - there's no place like it. To plan your holiday, visit our website. This program is captioned live. Play of the day time now and this one is a reward for effort. Stuntman David Blaine has failed to break the world record for holding breath under water. Seven minutes into his challenge, the chained and handcuffed Blaine began to struggle. Divers came to his rescue in front of thousands of spectators. The 33-year-old blamed his failure on the effects of spending the previous week submerged in water. Now to the national weather - on the satellite map, cloud crossing Tasmania, Victoria and SA is causing showers and light alpine snow. High jet-stream cloud across the west and north is not bringing any rain. Cloud in Far North Queensland is generating a few showers and storms. On the synoptic map - a large high will generate a cold morning and a sunny day across the southern inland. The high will cause showery winds to ease across Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. Unstable easterly winds will bring more showers to the northern tropics. So for tomorrow - possible showers for Cairns. It'll be mostly sunny and temperatures in the mid-20s for Brisbane and Sydney. The national capital post Budget day will be mostly cloudy. Showers will ease in Melbourne with a top of 15 degrees. Hobart can expect snow-showers and a top of 11. Showers clearing in Adelaide Wednesday. And sunny conditions for Perth, Darwin and The Centre.

And that's the latest from Ten News. I'm Sandra Sully. From the Late News Team, goodnight.

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