Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Ten Early News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

Good morning, I'm Kathryn Robinson.

Australian And I'm Frank Coletta. Welcome. An

Australian woman charged over last

week's assassination attempts in

East Timor. Support for Opposition East Timor. Support for Opposition

leader Brendan Nelson slumps to

single figures as senior Liberals

go public on the leadership tussle. Explosive allegations from Mohamed

Al Fayed at the inquest in to the

death of son Dodi and Princess

Diana. No deal - Paul McCartney and

Heather Mills fail to reach a

divorce settlement.

To finance now with Frank and Wall

Street takes a breather overnight.

They're all sipping lattes rather

than bidding. The markets were

closed for the President's Day

holiday. The housing pricing index

is due out later today.

We'll check why ANZ shares have

plummeted. Wasn't a good day

yesterday. An Australian woman has

faced a Dili court charged over last

last week's assassination attempts

in East Timor. Lawyer Angelita

Pires is the first person to be

charged over the attacks. Pires was

the slain rebel leader Alfredo

Reinado's lawyer and was believed

to be with him hours before the

attack. She's been granted bail due

to a lack of evidence. Public support for the Opposition Leader

has hit an all-time low. The latest

Newspoll has Brendan Nelson sliping

to a woeful single figure as

preferred PM, while Kevin Rudd's

popularity has increased. Lake

remains ahead as well in the

2-party preferred stakes but the Coalition has narrowed the gap 2-party preferred stakes but the

slightly. It follows revellations

from senior Liberal MPs they had

urged former PM John Howard to step

down before the 2000 7 election.

Meantime, the P -- 2007 election.

Meantime, the PM has refused to

rule out a double dissolution

election to break a deadlock over workplace laws. became political poison When the WorkChoices brand for the Howard Government, of millions of booklets it ordered the destruction promoting the laws. How many have we got here? did you count them? (laughs). 436,000 of them - 'propaganda' only now being pulped - The last of what's been dubbed to make toilet paper. I think it's very important material of this nature is treated with the respect it deserves.

claiming Former workplace minister Joe Hockey had any clue few in the Howard inner circle of the Coalition's IR Laws. about the impact in Cabinet were aware I don't think many ministers under WorkChoices. that you could be worse off Labor says, it's pulp fiction. who don't know, according to him Australian working families. that Work Choices hurts the IR Laws The Government now trying to pulp a double dissolution election The PM refusing to rule out in the Senate if the Opposition uses its numbers of WorkChoices to block the scrapping and Australian Workplace Agreements. are playing with fire here. Well, I think the Liberal Party

Murray McCloskey, Ten News.

A magistrate will today decide

whether to relax the strict control

order conditions for David Hicks.

At present, the terrorism supporter

must report to police three times a

week. A restriction he believes is

unreasonable. So far David Hicks

has not attended the hearing. His

lawyers claiming he remains in a

fragile state since his release

from jail. Western Australia's north-west

north-west coast is on high alert

as Cyclone Nicholas closes in.

While it's not expected to cross

land, the tourism centre of Exmouth

is taking no risks. Residents

stocking up on supplies as they

prepare for some rough weather.

Nicholas is packing winds of more

than 180 kilometres an hour as it heads south-west and approaches the

North West Cape. The town was

devastated by category 5 devastated by category 5 Cyclone

Vance in 1999. Excuse me. On the

eert side of the country, residents

in North Queensland are preparing

for a tropical low that's

threatening to dump heavy rain

across the region. Campers on

Fraser Island are also being warned

to take refuge as wild to take refuge as wild weather

moves in. It was a waiting game

overnight for North Queensland

residents between the areas, a

strong tropical low was expected strong tropical low was expected to

cross the coast early this morning,

dumping more rain on the already

water-logged region. But it wasn't

to be. The low still remains

offshore. In Mackay, the massive offshore. In Mackay, the massive

clean-up continues, as financial

aid starts to reach the worst affected. Your number? Thank affected. Your number? Thank you

very much. The money's a start for

those devastated by the deluge but

many challenges lie ahead. We were

told to come here to register. I

don't know if I'm insured yet.

Assessors are now working through

the thousands of damaged homes,

surveying destruction and

processing claims. But until they

arrive, residents must leave their

soggy carpets and damaged goods

where the flood waters left them.

Just waiting for the assessors to

come. But normality is returning to

the waterlogged region with the

reopening of some schools and local

shops. To the UK now, where Mohamed

Al Fayed has waited 10 years for

his day in court and he hasn't disappointed. disappointed. Exploding with anger

in the witness box at the inquest

in to his son Dodi and Princess

Diana's deaths. Ten's Europe correspondent is covering the case

and joins us now live. An

extraordinary outburst from Dodi's

father? That's right. Make no

mistake, these are some of the most

sensational claims to ever be heard

in a British courtroom. Not only

did Mohamed Al Fayed accuse the

royal family, Tony Blair, the

witnesses that have given evidence

already in the inquest, anyone who

doesn't agree with him of being

part of this conspiracy to murder,

he also indulged in some fairly colourful name calling. He dubbed

the royal family a Dracula family,

Prince Charles's Camilla a

crocodile wife and the most

ferocious insults he directed to

Prince Philip who is a Nazi racist

who should go back to Germany, he said.

said. The main thrust was that

Prince Philip directed the Secret

Services to murder Diana and Dodi

because they found out she was

pregnant and was about to get engaged.

engaged. It will be up to the jury

to decide how much weight to give

his very strong opinions. He was

very happy as he left court this

afternoon. He said he won't rest

until the truth is uncovered, till

the gangsters who did this exposed. Not for himself but for the gangsters who did this are

the same of the nation. Another

development today - may see Diana's

former butler, Paul Burrell, in hot

water with the coroner? That's

right. The 'Sun' newspaper has

broke an story saying that Paul Burrell lied giving evidence. There

is a tape of the alleged admission

and the coroner wants to get his

hands on it so he can investigate.

Well, I didn't tell the whole truth.

When he said I have to tell the

whole truth and nothing but the

truth. And briefly, still at the

High Court, any outcome on the

Mills-McCartney divorce case? Well,

the latest word on this one is that

the pair have failed to reach an

agreement. So judgment has been

reserved. It will be up to the

judge to decide how to carve up

these many millions. We will, we think,

think, find out in a few weeks what

may end up being the biggest

divorce settlement in British

history. Thanks for your time. Vote

counting is under way this morning

following the election in Pakistan.

The polling booths closed overnight after a relatively peaceful event

which followed a campaign marred by

widespread bloodshed. The election

is seen as a key step towards

democracy, following eight years of military rule. Adam Gilchrist's

farewell tour will continue despite

a thumb injury suffered in

Australia's win over India. The

match once again marred by ill

feeling between the feuding teams. An Indian summer, which has centred around Harbhajan Singh -

the Australians are still obviously upset with the spinner, even though he was cleared of racial vilification allegations late last month.

Captain Ricky Ponting going out of his way to give him a verbal send-off last night. COMMENTATOR: And whoops! Someone's had a little word with Harbhajan as he's run past him. It might have been Ponting.

It was Ponting the captain having words for everyone at the ground, including the Australian coach, to see. Harbhajan stopped in protest and gestured to the umpire before continuing It's been quite obvious throughout the summer that both sides played hard and there is a bit of feeling between the teams. After the game, the verbal confrontation continued as the Aussie skipper shook hands with the opposition team - it's been a tough few months the coach did concede with off-field matters like the impending tour of Pakistan and the prospect of the lucrative Indian Premier League playing on everyone's mind. It has been a long summer with issues outside of batting and bowling that have made it more difficult. But not for one second are we using that as an excuse, inside the change rooms or out here.

A major blow for the Fremantle

Dockers with Paul Hasleby to miss

the rest of the seedsen with a knee

injury. Hasleby was injured on

Sunday night's NAB Cup game against

West Coast. Someone went over the

top of me and felt a bit dead at

the time and didn't even try and

get back up. See how we go. The

news is just as bad for Sydney defender Nick defender Nick Malceski,

confirmation that he needs a knee

reconstruction and won't play again

this year. To finance now and a shock announcement from ANZ shock announcement from ANZ sent

shares spiralling yesterday? Freaked

investors out. Wiping more than 6%

of ANZ shares at the close after

the bank revealed a worse than

expected exposure to potential expected exposure to potential bad

corporate debts. ANZ issued a

trading update of declaring a

one-off provision of $365 million

to cover any potential loss from a

US based insurer. The bank index

has lost 29% from its record high

just on three months ago. A new

survey paints a bleak picture of

housing affordability in Australia.

Figures show affordability has sunk

so low, most people without a mortgage expect they'll never

purchase a home. Despite the recent

RBA denials, the report shows many

who have a mortgage are finding it

difficult to meet their home loan

repayments. The survey was conducted in December two months before the latest interest rate rise.

A look now at the national weather details for the day ahead.

Let's take a look at the headlines -

- more on the 42-year-old

Australian woman who has been

charged with conspiracy to murder

after last week's attempted

assassinations in East Timor. Iron

ore prices are set to increase after Japanese and Korean

steel-makers agreed to a 65% price

rise. Kevin Rudd has appointed a taxpayer-funded taxpayer-funded child carer for his

son despite pledging to reduce

Government spending. Hundreds of Serbians demonstrate in Melbourne against Kosovo's independence. The

details when Ten's Early News returns.

Making headlines this morning -

poll pain. Support for Opposition Leader

Leader Brendan Nelson plunges to a

record low. An Australian woman

facing conspiracy charges over last

week's assassination attempts in

East Timor. The fate of Pakistani

President Pervez Musharraf hangs in

the balance as the vote-counting

begins in the country's election.

And in sport, Roger Federer

receives his fourth consecutive

Sportsman of the Year award. Sportsman of the Year award. To

finance now and time out for Wall

Street overnight? No action on US

markets because of the long weekend there.

A big boost for Bendigo coming up.

The latest Newspoll has delivered a

resounding thumbs down for the new

Opposition leader. Support for

Brendan Nelson has fallen to single

figures in the preferred PM stakes.

It comes as senior Liberal MPs revealed they'd urged John Howard

to quit in the lead-up to the election.

John Howard's former right-hand man

revealing the depth of his

bitterness. He was never given the

opportunity to be PM. I don't opportunity to be PM. I don't think

he was ever going to stand down. I

think from time to time he would consider

consider his position. You recall

he said he would consider it when

he was 64. I think he decided he'd

consider it in the next term and I think every time he considered it

he decided he was going to stay.

As the years went by, other key

Liberal heavyweights shared Mr

Costello's frustration but they

struggled to break the news to the

ageing population. If you study the

history of politics, it is unfortunately the fact that unfortunately the fact that most

leaders don't get the timing right.

Even Mr Howard couldn't ignore Even Mr Howard couldn't ignore the

constant bad opinion polls. So the

party faithful gathered again and

almost all agreed if Mr Howard

didn't think he could win the 2007

election he should step aside but

still he held on. Leaving voters to

do it for them. Nearly three months

after that emphatic election loss,

the party is struggling to regroup.

A Newspoll finding public support

for the Opposition leader hitting

an all-time low. Brendan Nelson an all-time low. Brendan Nelson as

preferred PM slipping to single

figures to just 9%. An Australian

woman has been granted bail after

facing a Dili court charged over

last week's assassination attempts

in East Timor. Lawyer Angelita

Pires is facing a number of

conspiracy charges. Pires is the

former lawyer of slain rebel leader

Alfredo Reinado and was believed

to be with him hours before the

attack. A 26-year-old woman has

been killed in a 3-car smash in

Sydney's west. The victim's car is

believed to have hit another on

the Hume Highway before slamming in

to a tree. Two other people suffered minor injuries in the

accident. The highway was blocked

for more than four hours as

emergency crews worked it clear the wreckage

wreckage and investigate the cause

of the crash. Coastal towns in

Western Australia's North West

Coast are bracing for destructive

winds as Cyclone Nicholas edges

closer. The tourist centre of

exMouth is taking no risks.

Residents stocking up on supplies as they prepare for rough weather.

Nicholas is packing winds of more

than 180 kilometres an hour. The

town was devastated by Category 5

Cyclone Vance in 1999. And

residents in North Queensland are

again on alert with the chance a

tropical low could cross the coast.

It was expected to hit the already

waterlogged area this morning. So

far it still remains offshore.

Meantime, insurance assessors are

slowly working through slowly working through the

thousands of damaged homes in

Mackay. We're waiting for the

assessors to come so we can get rid

of it. Good news for locals with

some schools and shops starting to

reopen. Melbourne's Serbian reopen. Melbourne's Serbian

community has rallied overnight

against Kosovo's independence. Up

to 250 protesters marched from

Federation Square to the US Consulate.

Consulate. Outrageed the new

country had the blessing of America

and key European powers.

A police guard kept the crowd in

check, despite a few lighted flares

and a bottle thrown at a police car.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership announced

announced its independence from

Serbia on Monday. Counting is under

way this morning following the

election in Pakistan. Early results

are expected today following the

poll which passed without major

violence. The votes aren't yet

counted, but tonight Pakistan is

celebrating - elections they

believe mark the end of military

rule. We found long queues at

polling stations and an impatience

for change. I am not taking it fast.

I'll doing my vote. The belief that

nuclear armed Pakistan will find

stability in civilian government.

Today, millions voted. But millions

more stayed away, the fear of

terror attacks more powerful than the pool of democracy. A heavy

security presence kept the bombers

at bay. A crackdown on any sign of protest.

protest. Mohamed Al Fayed has had

his day in court at the inquest in

to the death of Diana. He unleashed

an extraordinary attack on the

royals, accusing them of being a

Dracula family, claiming Prince

Phil sp a Nazi and a racist, while

labelling Camilla a crocodile and

demanded that Paul Burrell be

brought back after a video surfaced about

about the evidence he gave. 10

years after the deaths of Dodi and

Diana, Al Fayed is determined to

keep the conspiracy theories alive.

Roger Federer has been named World

Sportsman of the Year at the

prestigious Laureus sport awards.

Becoming the first man to claim the

honour on four successive occasions.

I'm happy the jury didn't think

three was enough. Thanks, guys, for

still voting for me. Former world

number 1Jus -- Justine Henin took

out the women's prize and the South

African rugby team won the sports

team of the year. Chief executive

Andrew Demetriou says the code

can't afford to wait and is deadly

serious about the moves. AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick set the time frame for footy's push into Western Sydney and the Gold Coast by 2012 - expanding to 18 teams on the agenda at the Commission's first meeting of the year. But while the intent is there, the timing is a little rubbery. You shouldn't think that 2012 is when we, actually put a team into Western Sydney. It may be, that we decide on a licence or a licence-holder and that we give them a proper lead-in time to have a team. When the fact of the matter is, we are not going to drop a team into any market lead-in time. without a two-to-three year Also at the meeting, Justice William Gillard's investigation into the West Coast Eagles, was tabled. It's a very lengthy report - 95-odd pages and we'll get a written response. Sydney youngster Kieren Jack is free to play in round one after accepting a reprimand for making forceful contact with Hawk Luke Hodge. Kangaroos forward Leigh Harding can also accept a reprimand after engaging in rough conduct with Jason Akermanis. Ian Cohen, Ten News.

Frank, a new international ion ore

deal? From bruz -- iron ore deal?

Yes. An agreement which will see a

65% rise in the benchmark oil price.

The percentage gain is the second

largest on record and will benefit

mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio

Tinto. It will means billions of

extra dollars in export earnings

for Australia but will put more

pressure on interest rates. Bendigo

Bank has reported a 34% increase in

first-half profit while reaffirming

its outlook for this financial year.

The bank posted a net profit of

$72.8 million with its cash

earnings, rising more than 27%. Rob

Hunt says they benefited from the

repricing of some assets such as

the residential home loan portfolio

and also a margin in lending books.

The weather details now:

Britain's most bitter celebrity

divorce hearing ends without a deal.

Details next. And the CommSec

finance report when the Early News returns.

Making headlines today - an

Australian woman charged over last

week's assassination attempts in

East Timor. Support for Opposition

leader Brendan Nelson slumps to

single figures as a senior Liberals go

go public on the leadership tussle. Explosive allegations from Mohamed

Al Fayed at the inquest in to the death of son Dodi and Princess

Diana. And no deal - Paul McCartney

and Heather Mills fail oo too reach a divorce settlement.

To finance now with Frank who has

the latest on the markets. Markets

were closed for the President's Day

holiday in the US but investors

will be keeping a close eye on the housing index.

Our CommSec guru takes a look at

the day ahead when I return in a

few minutes. An Australian few minutes. An Australian woman

has faced a Dili court charged over

last week's assassination attempts in East Timor. Lawyer Angelita

Pires is the first person to Pires is the first person to be

charged over the attacks. Pires was

the slain rebel leader Alfredo

Reinado's lawyer, and was believed

to be with him hours before the

attack. She's been granted bail due

to a lack of evidence. Public

support for the Opposition Leader

has hit an all-time low. The latest

Newspoll has Brendan Nelson sliping

to a woeful single figure as preferred PM while Kevin Rudd's preferred PM while Kevin Rudd's

popularity has increased. The

Coalition has narrowed the gap

slightly. It follows revellations from senior Liberal MPs from senior Liberal MPs they'd

urpbled former PM John Howard to

step down -- urged former PM John

Howard to step down before the 2007

election. The PM has refused to election. The PM has refused to

rule out an early double

dissolution election. The

Opposition is expected to use its

numbers in the Senate to delay the scrapping of WorkChoices. When the WorkChoices brand became political poison for the Howard Government, it ordered the destruction of millions of booklets promoting the laws. How many have we got here? 436,000 of them - did you count them? (laughs). The last of what's been dubbed 'propaganda' only now being pulped - to make toilet paper. I think it's very important material of this nature is treated with the respect it deserves.

Former workplace minister Joe Hockey claiming few in the Howard inner circle had any clue about the impact of the Coalition's IR Laws. in Cabinet were aware that you could be worse off under WorkChoices. The only Australians who don't know, according to him that Work Choices hurts Australian working families. The Government now trying to pulp the IR Laws which made the Coalition so unpopular.

The PM refusing to rule out a double dissolution election if the Opposition uses its numbers in the Senate to block the scrapping of WorkChoices and Australian Workplace Agreements. Well, I think the Liberal Party are playing with fire here. Murray McCloskey, Ten News.

The inquest continues today in to

the deaths of a family of five during

during a NSW flood. Adam Holt, his partner Roslyn Bragg and theirs

daughters Jasmine and Madison and

Miss Bragg's nephew Travis died

after they fell from a highway in

to a creek below. The roads

authority knew 23 years ago the

pipes supporting the road were

corroding but failed to act. Western Australia's north-west

coast is on high alert after

Cyclone Nicholas closes in. The

tourist centre of Exmouth is taking tourist centre of Exmouth is taking

no risks. Residents stocking up on

supplies as they prepare for rough

weather. Nicholas is packing winds of

of more than 180 kilometres an hour

as it heads south-west and

approaches the North West Cape. The

town was devastated by Category 5

Cyclone Vance in 1999. Residents in

North Queensland are preparing for

a tropical low that's threatening

to dump heavy rain across the

region. Campers on Fraser Island

are also being warned to are also being warned to take

refuge as the wild weather moves in.

It was a waiting game overnight for

North Queensland residents between

Prosperpine and Airlie Beach. A

strong tropical low was expected to

cross the coast early this morning,

dumping more rain on the already

waterlogged region. But it wasn't

to be. The low still remains offshore. In Mackay, the massive

clean-up continues, as financial

aid starts to reach the worst

affected. Here is your number.

Thank you very much. The money's a

start for those devastated by start for those devastated by the

deluge but many challenges lie

ahead. We were told to come here to

register. I don't know whether I'm

insured yet. My insurance won't let

me know. Assessors are now working

through the thousands of damaged

homes, surveying destruction and

processing claims. But until they

arrive, residents must leave their

soggy carpets and damaged goods

where the floodwaters left them. Just waiting for the assessors to

come so we can load it all up come so we can load it all up and

get rid of it. But normality is

returning to the waterlogged region

with the reopening of some with the reopening of some schools

and local shops. An extraordinary

outburst this morning from Mohamed

Al Fayed at the inquest in to the

deaths of Princess Diana and his son.

son. He's unleashed his venom on

the royal family in a series of

very personal attacks. He's voiced

his controversial claims for a decade and today wasn't going to be

any different. This is the moment

for me to say exactly what I feel.

He's used to saying what he feels

but even for him this was unprecedented.

It's time to send him back to

Germany, he said. Cumill waw

Auscalled a crocodile. He called

for Paul Burrell to be brought back

before the inquest. It comes after

a video obtained by the 'Sun' newspaper allegedly shows Burrell

talking about the evidence he gave. Well,

Well, I didn't tell the whole truth.

Al Fayed has a long list of people

he implicates in the cover-up. He's

determined to keep the determined to keep the conspiracy theories alive. Britain's most

bitter celebrity divorce hearing

has ended without a deal. A judge must

must now decide on how much of Paul

McCartney's fortune, Heather Mills,

will walk away with. The judge is

expected to spend several weeks

working out a settlement. Adam

Gilchrist's farewell tour will

continue despite a thumb injury

suffered in Australia's win over India. The match once India. The match once again marred

by ill feeling between the feuding teams. An Indian summer, which has centred around Harbhajan Singh - the Australians are still obviously upset with the spinner, even though he was cleared of racial vilification allegations late last month. Captain Ricky Ponting going out of his way to give him a verbal send-off last night. COMMENTATOR: And whoops! Someone's had a little word with Harbhajan as he's run past him. It might have been Ponting. It was Ponting

the captain having words for everyone at the ground, including the Australian coach, to see. and gestured to the umpire Harbhajan stopped in protest before continuing back to the dressing room. It's been quite obvious throughout the summer that both sides played hard and there is a bit of feeling between the teams. After the game, the verbal confrontation continued

as the Aussie skipper shook hands with the opposition team - Ponting chatting with Harbhajan before the Indian spinner walked away, not willing to hear the end of the conversation. While Australia won quite convincingly in the end, the coach did concede it's been a tough few months like the impending tour of Pakistan with off-field matters and the prospect of the lucrative Indian Premier League playing on everyone's mind. It has been a long summer with issues outside of batting and bowling that have made it more difficult. A major blow for the Fremantle

Dockers with Paul Hasleby to miss

the rest of the seedsen with a knee

injury. -- season with a knee

injury. Hasleby was injured against

West Coast. Someone went over the

top of me and felt a bit dead at

the time and I didn't try and get

back up. See how we go. The news

just as bad for Sydney defender

Nick Malceski, confirmation that he

needs a knee reconstruction and

will not play again this year. The

best of the best in basketball best of the best in basketball

after taken to the court in New

Orleans for the annual NBA all-star

game. Superstars from all walks of life were courtside for the East

Versus West showdawn. LeBron James

led the east and Kobe Bryant was

the main man for the West. James the standout in the scorefest.

Hammers it home! The East back on

top. 27 points enough for the

Cleveland Cavalier to be named MVP

for the second time as East beat

West 134 to 128.

ANZ has made a shock announcement

on its debt exposure, revealing a

one-off provision of $365 million

to cover potential bad loans. With

more CommSec's Craig James joins us

live now. The entire banking sector

took a hit. Do you expect a recovery

recovery today? We certainly have a

very positive lead-in from the UK.

UK banks sharply higher overnight,

including Barclays. In terms of

Australian banks, there has been

very much an overreaction. Banks

are putting provisions in place in

case they need them for bad debts.

Could be the case they're

overprovisioning. A strong Aussie

dollar providing relief for

motorists? The Singapore unleaded price is heading towards record

highs but we're not paying that at

the bowser courtesy of the high

Aussie dollar. Booming minerals prices

prices will inject billions of

extra dollars in to the local economy

economy but how much pressure will

it put on interest rates? This is

something the Reserve Bank has

allowed for and that's partly the

reason why the Reserve Bank is

lifting interest rates. It's also

the case the higher revenues is

likely to be put through to increased capacity and

infrastructure and in terms of

infliegzary pressures that's very

much a good -- inflationary

pressures that's very much a good

thing. Thank you. Thank you. The

weather details now:

Now let's take a look at what's

making headlines. The 'Daily

Telegraph' reports on a town

planner in Wollongong who approved development applications for sex and

and money. ANZ's profit growth will

be wiped out by $365 million in new

provisions for bad debts. And Brisbane's 'Courier Mail' reports

on Wally Lewis's long battle with

depression. Serbians depression. Serbians oppose Kosovo's independence. We'll Kosovo's independence. We'll have

the details when Ten's Early News returns. The New South Wales Government's putting forty

thousand dollars forward for environmental projects across the Southern Tablelands. Councils across the entire region will share half the money, to fight pest plant and animal species. The rest of the cash will be put towards a tree program near the Goulburn Golf Course Canberra's Australian National university is calling for a joint-funding agreement to help struggling student services. They're lobbying the Federal Government to join them in making up the shortfall caused by the Howard Government's Voluntary Student Unionism laws. A design competition has begun to honour Australia's soldiers from the two world wars. The international competition is seeking designs for two memorials, to be built on Canberra's ANZAC Parade A reception is being held in Canberra this morning to mark Organ Donor Awareness week. Organisers hope the reception will draw greater attention ... to the more than one hundred Canberran's in need of an organ transplant, and hopefully raise Australia's low donation rate TO SPORT, Injured Brumbies skipper Stirling Mortlock has returned to full time training. Although he's still about five weeks away from playing, Mortlock's presence is sure to benefit a squad reeling from Friday's loss to the Crusaders NOW TO THE WEAHTER.

A high in the Tasman is directing an easterly stream over the ACT, while a trough of low pressure will soon bring some possible showers Around the capital cities ... fine and mostly sunny for Melbourne and Canberra ... becoming fine for Sydney... showers for Brisbane Looking locally... mostly fine for Dubbo ... sunny for Bega ... a shower or two for Wollongong ... partly cloudy for Orange and 24 degrees Cloudy for Bathurst ... mostly sunny for Batemans Bay... fine for Perisher ... 22 the top in a wet Bowral Partly cloudy for Mudgee ... fine and 25 degrees for Cooma ... a shower or two for Nowra Looking ahead: Mostly fine though a little cloudy around the region tomorrow... While a possible shower's forecast for Thursday... But cloudy skies will then be returning for Friday and

Making headlines this morning -

poll pain, support for Opposition poll pain, support for Opposition

leader Brendan Nelson plunges to a

record low as senior Liberals speak

candedly about the leadership

tussle. An Australian woman facing

conspiracy charges over last week's

assassination attempts in East

Timor. The fate of Pakistani President

President Pervez Musharraf hangs in

the balance as the vote counting

begins in the country's election.

And in sport, Roger Federer

receives his fourth consec receives his fourth consec ytdive receives his fourth consec ytdive

sportsman of the year awards. --

consecutive sportsman of the year

awards. No action on US markets

because of the long weekend there.

More trouble for Centro. Not a good

end for them. The latest Newspoll has delivered a resounding thumbs

down for the new Opposition leader.

Support for Brendan Nelson has

fallen to single figures in the

preferred PM stakes. It comes as

senior Liberal MPs reveal they'd

urged John Howard to quit in the

lead-up to the electionf after 11

years of public loyalty, the

curtain has finally come down. John

Howard's former right-hand man

revealing the depth of his

bitterness. He was never given the

opportunity to be PM. I don't think

he was ever going to stand down. I

think from time to time he think from time to time he would

consider his position. You recall

he said he would consider it when

he was 64. I think he decided he was 64. I think he decided he'd

consider it in the next term and I

think every time he considered it,

he decided he was going to stay.

As the years went by, other key

Liberal heavyweights shared Mr Costello's frustration but they

struggled to break the news to the ageing

ageing politician. If you study the

history of politics, it's

unfortunately the fact that most

leaders don't get the timing right.

Even Mr Howard couldn't ignore the

constant bad opinion polls. So the

party faithful gathered again and

almost lugraed if Mr Howard didn't

think he could win the 2007

election he should step aside but

still he held on. Leaving still he held on. Leaving voters to

do it for them. Nearly three months

after that emphatic election loss,

the party is struggling to regroup.

A Newspoll finding public support for the Opposition Leader hitting

an all-time low. Brendan Nelson as preferred

preferred PM slipping to sinal

figures of just 9% while support

for Kevin Rudd has grown to 70%. An

Australian woman has been granted

bail after facing a Dili court

charged over last week's

assassination attempts in East

Timor. Angelita Pires is facing a

number of conspiracy charges. She

was the lawyer for slain rebel

leader Alfredo Reinado. The

42-year-old woman was believed to

be with him hours before the attack.

Melbourne's Serbian community has

rallied overnight against Kosovo's

independence. Up to 250 protesters

marched from Federation Square to

the US consulate. Outraged the new country

country had the blessing of America

and key European powers. A police

guard kept the crowd in check

despite a few flares and a bottle

thrown at a police car. Kosovo's

ethnic Albanian leadership

announced its independence announced its independence from

Serbia on Monday. Coastal towns in

Western Australia's north-west coast are bracing for destructive

winds as Cyclone Nicholas edges

closer. While it's not likely to

cross land, the tourist centre of

Exmouth is taking no risks.

Residents are stocking up on

supplies as they prepare for some

rough weather. Nicholas is packing

winds of more than 180 kilometres

an hour as it heads further out to

sea. The town was devastated by

Category 5 Cyclone Vance in 1999. And residents in North Queensland

are again on high alert with the

chance of a tropical low crossing the coast. It was expected to hit

the already waterlogged areas

between Prosperpine and Airlie

Beach this morning. So far it still remanes

remanes offshore. Insurance

assessors are slowly working

through the thousands of damaged

homes in Mackay. Waiting for the

assessors to come so we can load it

all up and get rid of it. Good news for

for locals with some schools and

shops starting to reopen. A judge

is now deciding on what's expected

to be the most expensive divorce

settlement in British history.

We'll soon know how much of Sir

Paul McCartney's fortune Heather

Mills will be awarded. It looked

Mills will be awarded. It looked as

though the weight had been lifted.

Heather Mills trading her usual

court files for a handbag. Was Paul

McKartdny skipping court? Turns out he was away rehearsing for this

week's awards after he and his

ex-wife couldn't work it out and

left it to the judge. The left it to the judge. The judge

here at London's High Court

reserved his ruling. He'll spend

the next several weeks trying to

work out a settlement. Trying to

work out how much of Sir Paul's

$1.6 billion should go to Heather

Mills? Mills is throwing a big bash.

Other sources claim she would get a

more modest 20 million pounds after

the couple's relatively short 4-year marriage. Vote counting is

under way this morning following

the election in Pakistan. The polling booths closed overnight

after a relatively peaceful event

which followed a campaign marred by widespread bloodshed. The election

is seen as a key step towards

democracy, following eight years of

military rule. Roger Federer has

been named World Sportsman of the

Year at the prestigious Lawrence

sports awards. Becoming the --

Laureus sports awards. I'm happy the

the jury didn't think three was

enough. So, thanks, guys for still

voting for me. Fellow world number

one Justine Henin took out the

women's honour while South Africa's

World Cup winning rugby side World Cup winning rugby side beat

Australia's cricketers to be named

team of the year. The AFL has

declared its plans to have clubs

based on the Gold Coast and in

Western Sydney by 2012 are not a bluff. Andrew Demetriou says the

code cannot afford to wait and is

deadly serious about the moves. AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick set the time frame for footy's push into Western Sydney and the Gold Coast by 2012 - expanding to 18 teams on the agenda at the Commission's first meeting of the year. But while the intent is there, the timing is a little rubbery. You shouldn't think that 2012 is when we, actually put a team into Western Sydney. a licence or a licence-holder lead-in time to have a team. When the fact of the matter is, we are not going to drop a team into any market without a two-to-three year lead-in time. Also at the meeting, Justice William Gillard's investigation into the West Coast Eagles, was tabled. It's a very lengthy report - 95-odd pages and we'll get a written response. Sydney youngster Kieren Jack is free to play in round one after accepting a reprimand for making forceful contact with Hawk Luke Hodge. Kangaroos forward Leigh Harding can also accept a reprimand after engaging in rough conduct with Jason Akermanis. Ian Cohen, Ten News.

Newcastle Jets coach Gary Van Egmond is confident his troops are

up to the task of taking down the

Central Coast Mariners in the

A-League grand final. Hitting the

beach to recover from their epic

encounter with the Roar, the Jets

believe they're the ones to beat

heading in to the title decider.

They've had the wood on us in the

They've had the wood on us in the

final series during but during the

season we've been the better team.

Sunday's grand final is a sell-out.

To finance now and Centro faces a

potential lawsuit? Trouble

continues for the embattled

properties group. Centro is facing

a series of potentially large class

actions after it was revealed actions after it was revealed its current liabilities were

understated by about $1.5 billion.

Centro has been given a lifeline on

its debt repayment. Australian

lenders giving the company until

April 30 to refinance $2.3 billion

while it has until September to pay

$1.4 billion in debt for its US

business. Investors wiped more than

6% of ANZ shares at the close after

the bank revealed a worse than

expected exposure to potential bad corporate debts. A one-off provision of $365 million was

be-dclared to cover any potential loss. The announcement dragged the

banking sector down 4.4% and the

indexes lost 29% from its record

high three months ago. The rb will

release the minutes of its February

bort meeting. -- board meeting.

That's all for today. Thank you, Frank. A look at the weather details details now:

That's it for Ten's Early News.

Have a great day. I'm Frank Coletta. See you tomorrow.

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