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Ten Early News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

Good morning. I'm Bill Woods. And

I'm Belinda Heggen. Welcome to

Ten's Early News. Today's top

stories - Kevin Rudd mixes with

world leaders at the NATO summit in

Bucharest. More emergency crews to

be sent to Victoria to help with

the storm clean-up. Robert Mugabe appears on state

television for the first time since

the election as Zimbabwe awaits the result.

And in sport, controversial league

forward Willie Mason takes a swipe

grudge game. at his old club ahead of tonight's

Right now, let's look at finance.

Belinda with her first look at the markets. Thank you, Bill. Good

morning. Despite increased fears of

this morning: a recession, US stocks have rallied

When I come back - a healthy

windfall for MBF members on the

cards. Details shortly.

Thanks, Belinda.

NATO is boosting its military

operations against the Taliban in

Afghanistan. More troops are to be

sent, and their rules of engagement

toughened. Paul Bongiorno reports

from the NATO summit in Bucharest.

Kevin Rudd is the first Australian

prime minister to attend a NATO

summit, and he's doing it because

Australia is the only non-NATO

country that is making

contributions to the war in

Afghanistan. Before the preliminary

session, our cameras picked Mr Rudd up making a salute to up making a salute to somebody.

Then we follow the camera and Mr

Rudd across the room, and the salute was to George W. Bush. They

were locked in fairly serious

conversation when he was asked

about it, the Prime Minister said

it was a joke. (Laughs). That was

just a joke. (Laughs). But the

conference was no joke. Mr Rudd

says the resolve of NATO to get

tough in Afghanistan to draw to a

conclusion the 6-year-old war is

real. There will be benchmarks,

10,000 there will be more troops. Not the

10,000 more that the commanders

were asking, but the number is

heading in that direction, led by

the United States and by France.

There will be an increased effort

from other participating states.

This is important. Mr Rudd says

Australia has already spent $2.1

billion on operations in

Afghanistan. He says Australia's in

for the long haul. But he can't say

how long that haul will be. He also

revealed that Australia will give

$62 million for civilian training - police training - and for

Thank helicopters. Back to you.

Thank you, Paul Bongiorno with that report. After much speculation, former Howard government minister Peter McGauran has announced his

retirement after 25 years in

politics. The senior Nationals MP

would not confirm his next move, would not confirm his next move,

but it's expected the former jockey

and steward will pursue a career in horseracing. A 21-year-old man has been

seriously injured in a hit-and-run

in Sydney overnight. The victim was

walking across the road in

Kensington when he was struck by a

car. He's been taken to hospital

with head injuries and a fractured

leg. Police are searching for a

small, white car with damage to the

front driver's side.

It's been revealed nine Federal

Police officers are working full

time on the Mohamed Haneef case.

This is despite the dropping of

charges against the Indian doctor

more than eight months ago. The

investigation has cost nearly $8

million, and Fairfax newspapers report the Australian Federal

Police are still looking into

Haneef's alleged links to a British terrorist cell. An independent

inquiry into the handling of the

case is expected to start month. case is expected to start this

If you think home rents are high

now, a report predicts that rents

in major cities will rise by 50%

over the next four years. Rents in

most cities have already increased

by more than 10% over a year, while

property listings have drop to a

5-year low. Australian Property

Monitors is advising renters to lock in their current arrangements lock

More for as long as they can.

More emergency workers are being

flown to Melbourne today as the

clean-up continues from those

savage storms. The wild weather responsible

responsible for taking another life

- a power-company worker

electrocuted while trying to restore supply.

Trying to help those in need, a

37-year-old man becomes the latest

victim. Electrocuted while restoring power to a street. Unfortunately, it appears to be an

accident at this stage. Trees down

caused extensive damage right across the state. Businesses are kointing their losses.

losses. The savage winds leaving

one almost in ruins. Well, it's at

least three months' rebuilding, I'd

say. That's a lot to take out of us.

The winds torope an hospital The winds torope an hospital roof,

forcing the transfer of 10

dialysis patients. Along the coast,

20 boats snapped from their

moorings, 4 still remain underwater.

I've never seen it this big in I've never seen it this big in my

life here. Emergency crews working

around the clock since Wednesday.

Volunteers from NSW answering the

call. It's been very interesting.

Very quiet. $1,000 help grants are now available, but the mounting

damage bill won't be known for days.

While the worst is over, the storms

continued to Tasmania, unleashing

winds of up to 170km/h.

There are renewed warnings today

about Caesarean births. A study in

the US has found babies born in

elective C-section are almost 2.5

times more likely to die within

their first month than babies born

naturally. The research involved

more than 8 million births and is

the first study to focus on women

who chose a Caesarean birth for no

medical reason. One-third of babies

is born by C-2nds in Australia.

That's up from one in five a ago. That's up from one in five a decade

There's growing confusion over

whether President Robert Mugabe will stand aside as he loses

will stand aside as he loses grip

on power. In his first public

appearance since last weekend's

election, footage of a relaxed

Mugabe has been shown on state

television, even though the opposition has declared victory.

The results may be released

tomorrow. Mugabe's party will hold

a meeting to decide what course of

action to take.

For one of those marvels of

destructive engineering now! It

took just seconds for this 9-storey

casino parking garage to be brought

down in the US. All that remained

was a pile of steel and concrete.

The implosion is part of an ongoing

demolition project to make way for

the development of a

multibillion-dollar mega-resort.

Rugby league, and Willie Mason has

broken his silence ahead of tonight's Roosters-Bulldogs gruing

match. The -- grudge match. He

dismissed talk of a feud with Sonny

Bill Williams, but couldn't resist

a swipe at his former club. He's been tight-lipped all week had his say but today the walking headline before taking the fight to his former club. I feel good, man - I'm not worried about anything - I've played in plenty of big games, I've played in Tests and Origins and bigger games.

I've had countries hate me and states want to kill me. But he doesn't believe Sonny Bill Williams means him any harm. He says they're still mates despite Sonny's recent criticism. I don't think he said that he doesn't respect me at all. He's just a young kid who's upset. Mason's explanation for why he ditched the Dogs pinned squarely on the club's former chief executive. I didn't have a problem with the club or the players. I had a problem with Malcolm Noad and now that he's gone I don't have a problem with anyone. And Melbourne's been embroiled in another tackling controversy ahead of their clash with Brisbane. They've bee accused of using a technique dubbed the 'chicken wing', putting unnecessary pressure on a player's shoulder. We'll certainly do our best to clean that up and we got no problem if referees take action against it. Scott Mackinnon, Ten News. Melbourne coach Dean Bailey Melbourne coach Dean Bailey has

described his disappointing start

to the AFL season as just a minor

hiccup. Bailey's team may have been

beaten, but he hasn't lost his

sense of humour. Phil Jackson rang me from the Chicago Bulls. Yeah,

Phil rang me and wished me all the best. So there's a variety of

people that are out there. That's

terrific. If you think that Phil

Jackson rang me. Meantime, Crows veteran

veteran Andrew McLeod will play in

Sunday's showdown against Port

Adelaide, despite a bout of food poisoning.

I'm still getting over that quote! Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock

is confident he'll go the distance

tonight on a special occasion for

the ACB Brumbies against the Chiefs.

It will be his 100th Super rugyby cap. I definitely feel physically

that I'm ready to go. I just know

that match fitness with the new

ELVs in particular, I'll be

struggling a little bit. Meantime,

halfback Luke Burgess will make his

starting debut for the Waratahs in tomorrow's match with the Auckland

Blues. Let's talk finance now.

Belinda, huge windfall in the mail

for MBF members? That's right, for MBF members? That's right, Bill. Long-standing members will pocket

up to $7,000 as a result of a

proposed merger. The country's second-largest private-health insurer is sending out packs detailing how much money members

will receive thanks to the $2.4

billion merger with British giant

BUPA. The payout is calculated on

how long you've been in MBF and

your level of cover. Once once the deal

deal is complete, BUPA will become the country's largest health

insurer. US Federal Reserve chief

Ben Bernanke was back in the hot

seat today on Capitol Hill. He's seat today on Capitol Hill. He's

defended the Fed Reserve's rescue

of Bear Stearns. The Fed last month

backed a $29 billion lifeline as

part of JP Morgan's takeover of sterns,

sterns, but was criticised when

millions of home-owners are in

danger of losing their homes.

Bernanke has told Congress the

intervention was a unexpected but

necessary action to save the US

economy from a severe blow.

Looking at the newspaper headlines

- the 'Sydney Morning Herald'

firstly reporting home-builders and renovators could renovators could have plans approved by council within 10 days

as part of an overhaul of NSW planning.

The 'Financial Review' has more on the

the collapse of broker Opes Prime

and the share sell-off from ANZ.

And sources close to the family of Wayne Carey say his relationship

with model Kate Nielson may have ended.

A pregnant man tells his story in

the US. Details when the Early News returns.

This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News. This morn

- Kevin Rudd attends the NATO

summit, where world leaders agreed

to boost troop numbers in Afghanistan.

Revelations Federal Police are

still working full-time on the

Mohamed Haneef case as the cost of

the investigation soars.

More emergency crews on their way

to Victoria as residents count the

cost from the state's storms.

And hardly keeping mum - the

world's first pregnant dad tells all on Oprah.

To finance, though, and Belinda, a

very point with Wall Street -

despite all this talk of recession

only yesterday? Absolutely. A day after Fed Reserve chief Ben

Bernanke mentioned the 'R' word, US

stocks opened in the red but have

now opened in positive territory on reports Merrill Lynch does not need

more capital. The Nasdaq ahead 7.

When I come back, we'll cross live

to Wall Street for more on talk on

the recession fears there. Thank you, Belinda.

Kevin Rudd has attended the NATO summit summit in Romania, where world

leaders have agreed to boost

military operations in military operations in Afghanistan.

Australia had a seat at the table

when NATO members began discussing

Afghanistan, but before the session

began, Mr Rudd spied an old mate

across the crowded room. (Laughs)...

That was just a, just a joke... The,

um... we - I was just saying hi to

the President of the United States.

I was just with him the other day.

The Americans will add 3,000 troops

in Afghanistan. France will also ad another battalion to bring their

numbers just under 3,000.

NSW SES volunteers are set to join

the clean-up in the clean-up in Melbourne. Storms

left thousands of homes and businesses with extensive damage

from fallen trees and powerlines. Emergency crews have been

struggling to keep up. What they do

for the community, I think for the community, I think everyone should praise them more often. should praise them more often. I

think they're fantastic. Thousand-dollar help grants are now

available. But the mounting damage

bill will not be known exactly for days.

Former Gold Coast doctor Mohamed

Haneef is still being investigated

by Federal Police, despite the

dropping of charges against him

more than eight months ago.

It's been revealed nine AFP officers are working full-time on

this case as the cost of the

investigation nears the $8 million

mark. According to Fairfax

newspapers, Federal Police are still

still looking into alleged links to

arist cell. An independent inquiry

into the handling of the case is

expected to start this month. NSW NSW firefighters have been hit with

speeding fines after rushing to life-saving life-saving emergencies. Infringement notices have been sent

to the homes of firefighters,

forcing the drivers to sign

statutory declarations or take the

matter to court to avoid paying the

fines. Previously, all

infringements were struck off by

the fire brigade, and police withdrew the penalty. Firefighters

are now threatening to drive to the

road rules when they travel to emergencies.

There are claims zaimen with police

have surrounded a hotel in Harare

and adetained a number of

journalists. This latest development comes over growing

confusion what action President

Robert Mugabe will take as he loses

his grip on power. Robert Mugabe finally stepped out

of the shadows today. Zimbabwe TV

showed him joking with election

officials. Behind the smiles, this

was a clear message to his people -

he's still here, and he's fighting

on. Next time when you come, if you

are going to be the same people...

but here we are. In the absence of

any official declaration, this is

about the best barometer of what

the Government's thinking - the

'Herald' newspaper - nothing yet is

in here without Zanu PF's is as say

so. Tsvangirai in photo finish with

Zanu PF - they're preparing their

people for a re-run. people for a re-run.

There's an understandable concern

here that Mugabe will use

intimidation, violence, whatever it

takes to keep himself in power. On

the streets, as the daily struggle

to survive continues, the people so

hopeful just a few short days ago

don't know what to believe anymore. don't know what to believe anymore.

Mugabe's presence is still felt on

every street here. But he's wounded,

and fighting to keep his grip on

power.

A pregnant transgender man has

emerged from hiding to tell his

story. Thomas Beatie has shown off

his growing baby bump in an

exclusive interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey. 34-year-old was born a female but show host Oprah Winfrey. The

legally became a man several years

ago. Despite that change, he never

had his female reproductive organs

removed in the hope of one day

becoming a parent. I feel it's not

a male or female desire to want to

have a child. It's a human desire.

OK. And I'm a person, and I have

the right to have my own biological child. Really happy that 'People' magazine and... child. Really happy that 'People'

The baby girl was conceived via

artificial semination, using

donor's sperm. Beatie's wife Nancy

following a hysterectomy. is unable to have children

Eight men are standing trial in

Britain, accused of plotting to blow

up planes flying from London to the

US. The group was arrested in 2006

after allegedly trying to smuggle

homemade bombs hidden inside plastic drink bottles on flights.

It's claimed they were planning to

potentially killing hundreds of detonate those bombs midflight,

people. Typically, Willie Mason has added

more spice to tonight's NRL grudge

match between the Roosters and the

Bulldogs. The outspoken forward

says he can't wait to go head to

head with his former team-mate

Sonny Bill Williams, who recently

criticised Mason for walking away

from the club. I think the only

thing people have got to realise -

I didn't have a problem with the

club or the players. I had a

problem with Malcolm Noad. And now problem with Malcolm Noad. And

that he's gone, I don't have a problem with anyone. Malcolm problem with anyone. Malcolm Noad

was the Bulldogs' chief executive.

And the Broncos' Darren Lockyer and

Justin Hodges will be given until

late today to prove their fitness

for tonight's game against Melbourne.

Melbourne coach - that's in AFL -

Dean Bailey has fielded phone calls

from rival coaches offering their

support during his two weeks support during his two weeks of turmoil. The new Demons boss is

remaining upbeat as he prepares for

AFL's mission impossible - beating

Geelong in Geelong on Sunday.

worst start to a year in two decades. The Demons have made the are feeling for Dean Bailey. Even opposition coaches It's nice to see, who are ringing you know, you get other coaches a couple of pieces of advice - and giving you

who's rang me - I'm not gonna tell you "I've been where you have been." but they've all said,

Bailey's team may have been belted,

his sense of humour. but he hasn't lost from the Chicago Bulls. Phil Jackson rang me and wished me all the best. Yeah, Phil rang me who are out there. There are a variety of people for you? JOURNALIST: How good is that That's terrific, if you think that will be further boosted St Kilda's towering side tomorrow night, against the Western Bulldogs to return from a knee reconstruction. with key defender Brendan Goddard since Round 7 last year. Goddard hasn't played Selwood brother will debut And the fourth and final in Saturday's derby against the Dockers.

alongside his brother Adam. 18-year-old Scott to run out Kelli Underwood for Sports Tonight.

To finance again, and Belinda,

another grilling for the US Federal another grilling for the US Federal

Reserve chief? That's right. For

the latest in finance news from the

US, we're joined live by Alexis

Christoforous on Wall Street. Good

morning, Alexis. The Fed Reserve

chairman Ben Bernanke was back in

the hot seat today in front of

Congress? That's right, indeed.

Bernanke was being questioned about the recent government-backed

bailout of Bear Stearns after the

investment bank said it was in

danger of going bankrupt. Bernanke

told Congress the Fed was justified

in providing $30 billion to in providing $30 billion to

facilitate the sale of Bear Stearns

to JP Morgan Chase. He said if the

bank had been allowed to collapse,

it would have been disastrous for both the financial markets and the

overall economy. Also on Capitol

Hill today, the heads of both Bear

and JP Morgan were grill. They and JP Morgan were grill. They too

told law-makers the sale was "the

right thing to do." Yesterday, the

Fed Reserve chief raised the 'R'

word, recession, for the first time.

Given he's admitted a recession is

possible, can we expect further

rate cuts? He told law-makers

yesterday that the economy may

shrink in the first half of the year, and that unemployment will

rise. He was quick to add he believes things will turn around by

year's end. He also did not

indicate more rate cuts to come.

Most analysts now expect the Fed Most analysts now expect the Fed to

take a breather at its next meeting take a breather at its next meeting

and let the recent string of rate

cuts and next month's tax-rebate

checks begin to take hold. And eyes

will be on the monthly report on

the US labour market due out

tomorrow. What are you expecting?

Not good things, Belinda. Today, we

learned that the number of new

people signing up for unemployment

benefits next week shot up to the

highest level in more than two years. Wall Street believes we're years.

going to find out that 60,000 going to find out that 60,000 jobs

were lost last month. Belinda. were lost last month. Belinda.

That's not good. Alexis

you. Christoforous in New York, thank

Why you should go and pour yourself

a cup of coffee. That's next. And

Early News returns. the CommSec finance report when the

This program is captioned live.

This is the Early News. Today's top

stories - Kevin Rudd mixes with

world leaders that NATO summit in Bucharest.

More emergency crews to be sent to

Victoria to help the storm clean-up.

Robert Mugabe appears on state

television for the first time since

the election as Zimbabwe awaits the result.

And in sports news, controversial

league forward Willie Mason takes a

swipe at his old club ahead of tonight's grudge match.

Time for a check of the markets,

though, Belinda. Strong start on

Wall Street. How do you figure? That's right, Bill. Good morning.

Despite the Fed Reserve talking of

a possible recession, US stocks

have climbed into have climbed into positive territory today.

When I come back, we'll cross live

to CommSec for a look at our market

today. Thank, Belinda.

Kevin Rudd is in Bucharest for the

NATO summit, where world leaders

have agreed to boost their military operations in Afghanistan. More

troops are to be sent, and their

rules of engagement toughened. Paul

Bongiorno reports from the NATO summit.

Kevin Rudd is the first Australian

prime minister to attend a prime minister to attend a NATO

summit, and he's doing that because

Australia is the only non-NATO country that is making

contributions to the war in

Afghanistan. Before the preliminary

session, our cameras picked Mr Rudd up

up making a salute to somebody -

then we followed the camera and Mr

Rudd across the room, and the

salute was to George W. Bush. They

were locked in a fairly serious conversation. When we was asked

about it, the Prime Minister said

it was a joke. (Laughs)... That was

just a, just a joke. (Laughs)... We,

ah, I was just saying had ito, um,

the President of the United States.

I was just with him the other day.

But the conference was no joke. Mr

Rudd said the resolve of NATO to

get tough in Afghanistan to draw to a

a conclusion the 6-year-old war is real. There will be benchmarks,

there will be more troops. Not the

10,000 more that the commanders

were asking, but the number is

heading in that direction, lead by

the United States and by France.

There will be an increased effort

from other participating states.

This is important. Mr Rudd says Australia's

Australia's already spent $2.1 billion

billion on operations in

Afghanistan. He says Australia's in

for the long haul. But he can't say

how long that haul will be. He also

revealed that Australia will give

$62 million for civilian training,

police training, and police training, and for

helicopters. Back to you.

The $twoun LPG conversion subsidy

is at risk under the Rudd

Government. The scheme helps cars

install an LPG converter to used or

new cars. According to News Limited,

the program could be abandoned six

years early to save the Government

about $400 million.

A husband has told how he save his

wife from the jaws of a crocodile

in the Top End. Norm jumped on the

back of a 2.5m crocodile when it

seized his wife Wendy at a national

park near Darwin. It had both her

legs in its jaws and was dragging

her under the water.

Just jumped straight on top of him,

on his head, and looking for his

eye, and poked his eye. There's no

time for fears, you see. When time for fears, you see. When you

want to save someone. Especially

the one you love. Wendy will be in

hospital for another three days. More emergency workers are being

flown to Melbourne today as the clean-up continues from those

storms. The weather is responsible

for taking another life - a

power-company worker electrocuted while

while trying to restore supply.

Trying to help those in need, a

37-year-old man becomes the latest

victim.

Unfortunately it appears to be an

accident at this stage. Trees down

caused extensive damage right across the state.

Businesses are counting

Businesses are counting their

losses, the savage winds leaving

one almost in ruin. It's at least

three months' rebuilding, I'd say.

That's a lot to take out ofous. 10

dialysis patients were transferred.

Four wrecks remain under water. The

swell coming through over the top

of the pier, I've never seen it

this big in my life here. Relief

set to arrive for emergency set to arrive for emergency crews

working around the clock since

Wednesday. Volunteers from NSW

answering the call. It's been very

interesting, very quiet. Needn't

have had an Earth Hour on Saturday.

Thousand-dollar help grants are now

available, beutthe mounting damage

bill won't be known for days.

While the worst is over, the storms

continued to Tasmania, unleashing

winds of up to 170km/h. Ever feel guilty about that morning

cup of coffee? Well, it may not be

so bad after all! There are new

claims that it may prevent

Alzheimer's disease. US researchers

have discovered that caffeine

shields the brain from the effects

of a fatty diet, and this could protect from neurological

conditions. The study was tested on

rabbits, which had a high diet of

fat and caffeine. Exactly how the

caffeine works to protect the brain

remains a mystery.

Eight men are standing trial in

Britain accused of plotting to blow

up planes flying from London to the

US. The group were arrested in 2006,

allegedly trying to smuggle

homemade bombs hidden inside

plastic drink bottles on inflights.

It's claiming they were trying to

detonate those bombs midflight, potentially killing hundreds of people.

whether President Robert Mugabe There's growing confusion over

will stand aside as he loses his

grip on power. But in his first

public appearance since last

weekend's election,age of a relaxed

Mugabe has been shown on state

television, even though the opposition

opposition has declared victory.

The results must be released

tomorrow. Mugabe's party will hold

a meeting to decide what they do about that. a meeting to decide what they will

Rugby league news, and Willie Mason

has broken his silence ahead of

tonight's Roosters-Bulldogs grudge

match. The former Dog dismissed

talk of a feud with Sonny Bill

Williams. He can't resist another

swipe at his former club. He's been tight-lipped all week had his say but today the walking headline to his former club. before taking the fight I feel good, man -

I'm not worried about anything - I've played in Tests and Origins I've played in plenty of big games, and bigger games. and states want to kill me. I've had countries hate me Bill Williams means him any harm. But he doesn't believe Sonny despite Sonny's recent criticism. He says they're still mates that he doesn't respect me at all. I don't think he said He said he's lost respect. He's just a young kid who's upset. for why he ditched the Dogs Mason's explanation former chief executive. pinned squarely on the club's with the club or the players. I didn't have a problem I had a problem with Malcolm Noad I don't have a problem with anyone. and now that he's gone another tackling controversy And Melbourne's been embroiled in ahead of their clash with Brisbane. technique dubbed the 'chicken wing', They've bee accused of using a

on a player's shoulder. putting unnecessary pressure and we got no problem Scott Mackinnon, Ten News.

AFL now, and Melbourne coach Dean Bailey has described his

disappointing start to the AFL

season as just a minor hiccup. Bailey's team may have been beaten,

but he hasn't lost his sense of

humour. Phil Jackson rang me from

the chic aulo Bulls. Yeah, Phil

rang me and wished me all the best.

There's a variety of people that

are out there. How good is that for

you? That's terrific, if you think

that Phil Jackson rang me! Meantime,

Crows veteran Andrew McLeod will

Crows veteran Andrew McLeod will

play in Sunday's showdown against

food poisoning. Port Adelaide, despite a bout of

It was a stellar day on the

Australian share market yesterday.

Stocks rallied, despite talks of a US

US recession from the Fed Reserve

chairman. With more, CommSec joins

us live. Good morning. Can we expect another positive day on the

local market? It certainly looks to

be that way. We've got the SPI

pointing up about 20 points at the pointing up about 20 points at

moment. In particular, the gold price has rallied overnight. price has rallied overnight. Gold

stocks should recover some of those

losses as of last week. More

importantly, though, there was news

- fresh news overnight that Merrill

Lynch, who has had about $23

billion worth of write-downs and

had to raise capital last year of

about $12 billion - their CEO has

spoken to a reporter and said that he

not he expects that Merrill Lynch will

not have to raise any further

capital. And that's really what's

seen the US markets perform better

than expected tonight. And also

what we will see is that it will have a significant impact on our

financial sector today. To the Opes

Prime collapse. As you mentioned,

is the damage to investment giant

Merrill Lynch worse than expected?

That's right. There are thoughts

that the initial damage is a lot

worse than expected. We were

forecasting around $350 million in

losses, but it's looking closer to

$500 million. ANZ, the fellow

creditor with Merrill Lynch, have

about 600 companies they need to

sell stock out of. A lot of those

remain in liquid, a few remaining

in a training halt on the ASX. It's

likely they will be selling out of

these positions for a while to come.

And the Aussie dollar closed almost

US1 cent higher yesterday. Could it

be the start of a lungterm rally?

We have retail sales numbers today

- they will give a good indication

of whether consumers continue to

keep spending and whether the

Reserve Bank will have to raise

interest rates further. We are

forecasting a rate hike before

midyear. It's likely it will reach

96 US cents and then taper down

towards the recovery of the US

markets towards the end of the year:

Thank you for the update. Thank you.

Now, time for a look at the

morning's newspaper headlines again.

The 'Australian' reports on the

increasing number of West Australian school-leavers opting

for quick money in the booming

mining industry instead of

university places. Chinese

steel-makers plan to boycott some

Australian iron ore imports as the

PM declares the market should determine pricing issues. That

story in the 'Financial Review'.

And in Sydney's 'Daily Telegraph',

a security entourage has been hired

to guard Willie Mason at tonight's

much-anticipated Bulldogs-Roosters

game.

More pain on the way for renters.

Details with the Early News returns. A Queanbeyan man is due to face the A-C-T Magistrates Court later today, charged with an act of endangering life in Civic. Police allege the TWENTY-ONE year old used a traffic lights at the busy intersection or Northbourne Avenue and Barry Drive, early on the morning of March TWENTY-THREE. Significant Police resources were then needed to re-direct traffic and pedestrians. The Federal parliament's secretary for defence's calling called for those opposed to the suspended Kangaroo cull near Belconnen, to stop rubbishing the RSPCA Eden Monaro M-P Mike Kelly says the R-S-P-C-A

shouldn't face attacks or loss of donations, because

of its support for the cull. Meanwhile defence has spoken positively of a study to relocate some kangaroos from Belconnen's former naval base, saying it could deliver much needed evidence for similar cases in the future

Independent A-C-T Politician Richard Mucahy

has stood by his plans to scrap more than thirty million dollars in local taxes. The territory Government yesterday criticised Mulcahy's bills to scrap the emergency services levy and utilities tax, claiming they would take money away from hospitals and schools. But Mulcahy says the A-C-T Government has a surplus of almost two hundred million dollars, and can easily afford to give tax relief to its residents The switch to green conference and expo begins at the Canberra Convention Centre later today. The two day event will advise local residents and businesses, on methods and products that can help us reduce our carbon footprint. TO SPORT The TWENTY SECOND annual A-C-T WOMENS AND GIRLS FUN RUN AND WALK will be held at Commonwealth

FUN RUN AND WALK will be held at Commonwealth Park on Sunday. Organisers are hoping to exceed the almost nine hundred runners that took part last year, when the fundraising event kicks off at STAGE EIGHTY EIGHT at nine A-M.

NOW TO THE WEATHER A ridge of high pressure building over the region pressure building over the region means fine

conditions today and over the weekend, but mornings will be frosty

Fine and mostly sunny for Canberra... a little warmer around Sydney... still a shower or two down in Melbourne for Dubbo ... 20 the top Locally... fine and sunny Wagga trying to reach 21 Perisher today... mostly Partly cloudy about for Bowral sunny for Goulburn ... fine sunny for Parkes... Nowra a Frost then fine for Cooma.. Parkes... Nowra a top of 21 mornings will stretch into Looking ahead: These frosty Sunday should be mostly tomorrow, but Saturday and likely though from Monday fine. Showers are looking through to the Wednesday (that's the latest from

This program is captioned live. This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News. This

morning's stories - Kevin Rudd attends morning's stories - Kevin Rudd

attends the NATO summit in Romania, where world leaders agree to boost

troop numbers in Afghanistan.

Rfblations Federal Police are still

working full-time -- revelations

Federal Police are still working

full-time on the Mohamed Haneef

case as the cost of the

more investigation soars. Proprietary

more emergency crews on their way more emergency crews on their way

to Victoria as residents count the

cost from the state's storms. cost from the state's storms.

And hardly keeping mum - the

world's first pregnant dad tells all

all on Oprah.

But let's check out finance now. Belinda? Thank youing Bill. Belinda? Thank youing Bill. Good

morning. A late rally on Wall

Street despite US stocks opening in

the red and fears of weak

labour-force data out tomorrow.

When I come back - a correction When I come back - a correction in

Australian housing prices tipped.

I'll have the details shortly.

Thank you, Belinda.

Kevin Rudd has met with world lead

artz the nate so summit, welcoming

a plan to boost military operations

in Afghanistan. Australia had in Afghanistan. Australia had a

seat at the table when NATO members

began discussing Afghanistan, but

before the session began, Mr Rudd

spied an old mate across a crowded

room. (Laughs)... That was just room. (Laughs)... That was just a...

just a joke. (Laughs) We - I was

just saying hi to, um, the

President of the United States. I

was just with him the other day.

The Americans will add 3,000 troops

in Afghanistan. France will also

ootd another battalion, bringing

their numbers to just under 3,000.

If you think rental housing If you think rental housing is

expensive now, a new report

predicts rents in major cities will

rise by 50% over the next four-years. Rents in most cities

have already increased by more than

property 10% over the past year, while

property listings have dropped to property listings have dropped to a Australian Property Monitors is 5-year low.

advising renters to lock in their current arrangements for as long as they can.

It's been revealed nine Federal

Police officers are working

full-time on the Mohamed Haneef case, despite the dropping of

charges against the Indian doctor charges against the Indian

more than eight months ago. The

investigation has cost nearly $8 million. And Fairfax newspapers

report the AFP is still looking

into Haneef's alleged links to a

independent British terrorist cell. An

independent inquiry into the independent inquiry into the

handling of the case is expected to start this month.

NSW's SES volunteers are set to

join the clean-up in Melbourne. The

storms left thousands of homes and

businesses with extensive damage from fallen trees and powerlines.

Emergency crews are struggling to

keep up. They're volunteer

skpwrbgsz what they do for the

community, everyone should praise community, everyone should

them more often. I think they're excellent.

A man's body has been discovered in

a lake north of Brisbane. The

42-year-old and two other men had

been walking through a Caboolture

park when they became involved in a

fight with three other men. The

man's body was discovered a short

time later. Three men are assisting

police with their inquiries.

NSW firefighters have been hit with

speeding fines after rushing to life-saving

life-saving emergencies. Infringement notices have been Infringement notices have been sent

to the home of firefighters,

forcing the drivers to sign

statutory declarations or take the

matter to court to avoid paying the fines. Firefighters are now

threatening to drive to road rules

when they're travelling to emergency s.

There are renews warnings today about Caesarean births. A study in

the US has found that babies born

by elective C-section are

by elective C-section are almost

2.5 times more likely to die within

their first month than babies born

naturally. The research involved

more than 8 million births and is

the first study to focus on women

who choose a Caesarean birth for no

medical reason. One-third of babies

is born by C-section in Australia.

And that's up from one in five a

There are claims Zimbabwean police decade ago.

have surrounded a hotel in Harare

and detained a number of journalists. This development comes

amid growing confusion over what

take action President Robert Mugabe will

take as he loses his grip on power. Robert Mugabe finally stepped out

of the shadows today. Zimbabwe TV

showed him joking with election officials.

officials. Behind the smiles, this

was a clear message to his people -

he's still here, and he's fighting

on. Next time when you come, if you

are going to be the same people... but

but here we are. In the absence of

any official declaration, this is

about the best barometer of what

the government's thinking. It's the

'Herald' newspaper - nothing yet is

in here without Zanu PF's say so.

Today's headline - Zanu PF-MDC

Tsvangirai in close finish can only

mean one thing - they're preparing

their people for a re-run. There's

an understandable concern here that

Mugabe will use intimidation,

violence, whatever it takes to keep

himself in power. On the streets,

as the daily struggle to survive

continues, the people so hopeful

just a few short days ago don't

know what to believe anymore.

Mugabe's presence is still felt on

every street here. But he's wounded,

and fighting to keep his grip and fighting to keep his grip on power.

A pregnant transgender man has

emerged from hiding to tell his

story. Thomas Beatie has shown off

his growing baby bump in an

exclusive interview with US talk

show host Oprah Winfrey. The

34-year-old was born a female but

legally became a man several years legally became a man several years

ago. Despite the change, he never

had his female reproductive organs

removed in the hope of one day

becoming a parent. I feel it's not

a male or female desire to want to

have a child. It's a human desire.

OK. And I'm a person and I have the

right to have my own biological

child. The baby girl was conceived

via artificial insemination using

donor sperm. Beatie's wife Nancy is

unable to have children, following a hysterectomy.

Willie Mason has added a little

more spice to tonight's NRL grudge

match between the Roosters and the

Bulldogs. The outspoken forward

says he can't wait to go head to

head with his former team-mate

Sonny Bill Williams, who recently

criticised Mason for walking away

from the club. I think the own

thing people have got to realise -

I didn't have the a problem with

the club or the players. I had a

problem with Malcolm Noad. And now

that he's gone, I don't have a

problem with anyone. Malcolm Noad

is the former Bulldogs' chief executive. The Broncos' Darren

Lockyer and Justin Hodges will Lockyer and Justin Hodges will be given until late today to prove

their fitness for another big game

tonight against Melbourne.

AFL news, and Melbourne coach Dean

Bailey has fielded phone calls from rival coaches offering their

support during his two weeks of

turmoil. The new Demons boss turmoil. The new Demons boss is

still upbeat as he prepares for

mission impossible - that is, these

days, beating Geelong in Geelong on Sunday. The Demons have made the worst start to a year in two decades. Even opposition coaches are feeling for Dean Bailey. It's nice to see, you know, you get other coaches who are ringing and giving you a couple of pieces of advice - I'm not gonna tell you who's rang me - but they've all said, "I've been where you have been." Bailey's team may have been belted, but he hasn't lost his sense of humour. Phil Jackson rang me from the Chicago Bulls. Yeah, Phil rang me and wished me all the best. There are a variety of people who are out there. JOURNALIST: How good is that for you? That's terrific, if you think that Phil Jackson rang me. St Kilda's towering side will be further boosted against the Western Bulldogs tonight, with key defender Brendan Goddard to return from a knee reconstruction.

Goddard hasn't played since Round 7 last year. And the fourth and final Selwood brother will debut in Saturday's derby against the Dockers. 18-year-old Scott to run out alongside his brother Adam. Kelli Underwood for Sports Tonight.

Finance news now, Belinda.

Home-buyers might get more of an idea today whether there's more mortgage

mortgage pain on the way. mortgage pain on the way. That's

right, Bill. To another story,

though, Reserve Bank officials will

be grilled by politicians today.

RBA governor Glenn Stevens will

face the House of Representatives'

economics committee in Sydney in

the first 6-monthly hearing tinse

since the election. It's expected

to confirm that spending has

moderated under the weight of

rising interest rates.

The International Monetary Fund

says there's a high risk of a correction in Australian house

prices. The IMF says Australian property is among the most

overvalued in the developed world.

It says the increase in house

prices over the past decade can't

be explained by fundamental

economic factors such as population

growth and income. Australia has

been ranked fourth behind Ireland,

the Netherlands and Britain in

terms of vulnerability to a drop in

house value.

Just before I go, US stocks have

slipped in late session - the Dow

is down two points. Bill, that's

finance news for this morning.

Thank you. It's been all over the

place this week on Wall Street.

Tomorrow, those showers in Perth

will ease a little...

Quick recap of the morning's top

stories now - Kevin Rudd meets with

world leadarst the NATO summit in Bucharest.

-- leaders at the NATO summit in Bucharest.

More emergency crews to be sent to

Victoria to help with the storm

clean-up. And Robert Mugabe appears

on state television for the first

time since the election as Zimbabwe

awaits the result.

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

Bill Woods. I'll be back with the

weekend news. And I'm Belinda Heggen. Have a great day.

Supertext Captions by Red Bee Media Australia. www.redbeemedia.com.au